In a few short years the Arctic Circle assembly, held annually in Iceland’s capital has grown to become the largest Arctic related gathering, and is now attended by more than 1500 participants from close to 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Conference Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland and has just wrapped up. In addition, the Arctic Circle organizes smaller forums on specific subjects, such as the 2015 forums in Alaska and Singapore, and the 2016 forums in Québec and Greenland. This year was no exception and even featured a keynote by President Hollande of France who noted the critical importance of action on climate change in advance of COP 21 in Paris, next month. Watch videos of the keynote presentations here and see photos here.
Norway’s State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tore Hattrem was in attendance and said Norway has stepped up its climate diplomacy over the last year and noted “Climate change affects everything. It can change food production globally, and in the end also affect security policy”
ICR Director Anders Oskal is on the Advisory Board of the Assembly and spoke at two sessions – one on Arctic Research and the other on Business and Cultural Development in the North where he was joined by Mikhail Pogodaev, who is currently the acting chair of the Northern Forum. In total ICR delivered 7 speeches and hosted 2 outbreak sessions in cooperation with the Northern Forum, IASSA,IASC, UArctic and business leaders.
The ICR/ WRH team are travelling onwards to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting, the first under the US chairmanship which gets underway in Anchorage tomorrow.