Ambassador Maira Mora concludes her tenure at the CBSS Secretariat

After four years as Director General of the CBSS Secretariat, Ambassador Maira Mora is now returning to her native Latvia for continued service at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During her tenure Ambassador Mora steered the Secretariat through a long reform process, a process that was crucial for the CBSS as a whole.

Ambassador Maira Mora at the CBSS Trafficking Award Gala in Stockholm.

“The organisation, in existence for a quarter of the century, had basically reached its stated goals and had to adapt to new realities in our Region and establish a new modus operandi”, she says.

The reform process started at the Reykjavik Ministerial in 2017, and it involved the input of the so-called Vision Group, comprised of officials and researchers from all over the Region. The process ended this summer with the adoption of new Terms of Reference for both the CBSS and its Secretariat. 

The CBSS Secretariat’s 20th Anniversary celebration at the Latvian Embassy in Stockholm, 2018.

“This happened at the same time as the active involvement of the Secretariat in a variety of projects established its place and reputation as one of the key players in promoting cooperation for the sake of prosperity, security and stability, and common identity in the Baltic Sea Region. On many occasions I had the pleasure and honour to present the results of these projects – findings, recommendations, best practices – on behalf of the Secretariat at various events and international fora.” 

Common challenges call for common responses

Having traveled around the Baltic Sea Region and beyond in her capacity as Director General, Ambassador Mora has met with many actors active in the Region and developed a good understanding of the strengths the Region is housing and challenges it is facing.

“The strength of the Baltic Sea Region is its dense network of regional and subregional organisations, a network of close cooperation and shared goals – to increase the prosperity and safety of the people living in the Region, to address common challenges in a coordinated way and promote best practices in many areas of governance and management.”

Stockholm Ministerial 2018.

But the Region would not be anything without the people in it. She finds that a particular strength is the community of like-minded and knowledgeable professionals working in the Baltic Sea Region cooperation.

“This community cares for the development of our Region and is guided by the understanding and belief that common challenges call for common responses and close cooperation.” 

A Secretariat filled with devoted staff members

Ambassador Mora experienced the Presidencies of Iceland, Sweden, Latvia and Denmark. The Icelandic Presidency left a particularly big impression on her, and so did many of the events organised by the Secretariat staff. 

“My fondest memories are the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland and brilliant Icelandic chairmanship of Ambassador Stefansson, gala event of the Baltic Sea Trafficking Award at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue at the Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, the prominent role the Secretariat played at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rome, the impressive high-level participation at the conference on Non-Violent Childhoods in Stockholm, and lively exchange of opinions and discussions of Ministers in the lovely ambience at the meeting in Jūrmala, to name just some events.”

Icelandic Presidency: Four Councils Meeting. Mr Ragnar Thorvardarson, MFA Iceland; Amb. Maira Mora and Amb. Guðmundur Árni Stefánsson, Chairman of the CSO.

Although the Director General spends a lot of time traveling in the Region and attending different events, the biggest part of Ambassador Mora’s work has been carried out at the Secretariat in Stockholm, a Secretariat which is filled with professional and devoted staff members according to her.

“My very fondest memory is and will be the staff of the Secretariat. Very devoted, motivated, experienced and knowledgeable – every one of the colleagues, a dream team I have seldom encountered before. I am thankful and proud to have had the opportunity to head such a team.”