Norwegian Parliament to host NATO Parliamentary Assembly seminar on developments in the High North

Brussels, 21 April 2017 – European and North American legislators will meet in Svalbard, Norway, on 9-10 May, to discuss various issues relating to developments in the High North, such as the impact of environmental changes, maritime cooperation and new trade and business opportunities in the High North. This seminar, organised in cooperation with the Norwegian Parliament (Storting), is part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s ongoing focus on environmental security and developments in the High North.

The Arctic is among the regions the most affected by climate change in the world. The changes bring unprecedented challenges for the region, but also opportunities. The potential for an ice-free Arctic Ocean this century will open the region to shorter global transit routes. As such, the Seminar will focus on new challenges and opportunities for the region, as well as the existing good international cooperation within maritime and environmental affairs, joint search and rescue efforts, and the high North as an area for constructive international cooperation in general.

The Seminar will assemble approximately 100 participants; including 58 parliamentarians from 18 NATO member states and partner countries. Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, Vidar Helgesen, will kick-off the two-day event with a keynote address. Representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Coast Guard, as well as academic experts will also present to the delegation.

Since its founding in 1955, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly works to promote the core democratic values underpinning the North Atlantic Alliance by providing a forum for dialogue and debate among national parliamentarians of NATO and NATO partner states on the broad range of issues affecting the security and well-being of citizens across the Euro-Atlantic area. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is independent from NATO and has no direct role in NATO policies or operations.

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