The Arctic Circle Assembly, the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, will take place in Reykjavík, October 14-17. This will also be the first big multi- sectorial gathering in Europe to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Over 400 speakers will address more than 100 sessions. Attendance will exceed 1000 participants coming from 50 different countries.
On October 14 the Opening Session will bring together Ministers and high-level representatives from several governments who will unveil new programs and strategies. The Assembly will be the first international meeting on the Arctic since the historical Biden-Putin Summit in Geneva in June 2021 during which Arctic issues featured prominently on the agenda of the Summit.
Exciting developments in the United States will take center stage with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse offering a bi- partisan perspective on the reinvigorated US Arctic strategy under President Biden. The two Senators will be joined on stage by David Balton, the new Executive Director of the Arctic Office in the White House and Mike Sfraga, the new Chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission.
The European Union’s New Arctic Strategy will be presented by Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
Minister Kalistat Lund of Greenland will introduce the priorities of the new Greenlandic Government in the shifting power politics of the Arctic. Greenland is set to have a prominent presence at the 2021 Assembly with several sessions scheduled to discuss a large array of issues such as the country’s growing international presence and its constitutional future. The popular Greenland Night reception will return this year.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, will join the Assembly two weeks ahead of the historic COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Sturgeon will speak on Scotland’s growing Arctic role. As the Arctic Circle Assembly will be the last stop to discuss the role of the Arctic region in the future of the global climate system, the First Minister’s presence will benefit greatly the numerous speakers who intend on using the Arctic Circle Assembly to prepare for COP26.
Vice-Minister Jongmoon Choi of the Republic of South Korea will showcase the country’s brand-new Arctic strategy for the expanded role of South Korea in the Arctic.
Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen of the Faroe Islands will present various aspects of the Archipelago’s growing role in the new Arctic.
Minister Valery Falkov along with Arctic Ambassador Nikolay Korchunov of the Russian Federation will bring the opening session to a close with a discussion on Russia’s cooperation goals after it assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council in June 2021.
On Friday, the first ever ceremony of the Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Awards will take place. This Award, created in collaboration with UArctic, recognizes pro-active initiatives in addressing the challenge of climate change. The winner of the award receives a 100.000 € prize. The award is named after Frederik Paulsen who has been a decade-long promoter of Antarctic and Arctic research and cooperation.
The future of Arctic finance will feature prominently on the agenda. Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson will be joined by Scott Minerd, chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners, Hugh Short, CEO of Pt Capital and Benedikt Gíslasson, CEO of ARION Bank in a dialogue that will consider the possibility of establishing an Arctic Financial Partnership and an Arctic Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Ambassador Olivier Poivre d’Arvor and Ambassador Michael Mann will hold a session on the complementary aspects of the European Union and France’s ambitious new Polar strategy.
Representatives from the largest Arctic Expedition in history, MOSAiC will present preliminary findings from their historic research expedition. The timing is of great importance, as it follows the dramatic results of the recent IPCC Report and will be presented shortly before COP26.
The Arctic Circle Secretariat provides members of the press attending the Assembly with various services and assistance in contacting key speakers for potential interviews. Members of the press should direct accreditation and registration inquiries to .
Further information is available on the website www.arcticcircle.org as well as on the Arctic Circle’s Twitter and Facebook pages:
Source: Arctic Circle press release