News

2018 Arctic Circle Assembly

Published: 19 Oct 2018 00:01

Cabinet Secretary in Iceland.

External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop will reaffirm Scotland's commitment to growing links between Scotland and the Arctic at a global conference in Iceland.
 
The Cabinet Secretary is sharing a platform with senior representatives of governments, business and academia from around the world at the latest Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik.
 
During her speech Ms Hyslop will discuss progress that has been made on the Scottish Government’s Arctic Strategy, and the themes already developing where Scotland has a distinct contribution to make. These include climate change and the environment; the geopolitical relationship of Scotland to the region; academic and research collaboration; economic opportunities; and the links between remote communities in Scotland and those in the high north.
 
Ms Hyslop will also chair a workshop on the importance of Scotland’s relationship with the Arctic, and hold several bilateral meetings in the margins of the conference, including with the Icelandic and Faroese Foreign Ministers and the Finnish State Secretary.
 
Speaking ahead of the conference, Ms Hyslop said:
 
“Scotland shares many common social, economic and cultural bonds as well as environmental concerns with nations who border the Arctic, including our Nordic neighbours.
 
“In recent years there has been an ever increasing recognition of the globally important, dynamic nature of the Arctic region. By seeing it as a new centre for trade, innovation and investment, Scotland has the opportunity to occupy a key position – linking it with Europe and the wider world.
 
“By working collaboratively with our friends, Scotland can be a valuable partner to the countries and regions across the Arctic on many areas where we face common challenges and opportunities.
 
“As we further develop Scotland’s Arctic Strategy, we will continue to look to identify areas – such as scientific collaboration and tackling climate change – where we can learn from and contribute to the policy expertise and insight of our friends in the Arctic.”
 
Background
Details of the 2018 Arctic Circle assembly can be found here. As well as Nordic countries, the assembly is also being attended by government representatives from within Canada, China, Japan and Singapore, amongst others.
 
On Friday 19th October the Cabinet Secretary will be holding several bilateral meetings and chairing a workshop titled ‘Looking North: The Importance of Scotland’s Growing Relationship with the Arctic’.
 
On Saturday 20th October the Cabinet Secretary will be holding several bilateral meetings and making a speech titled ‘Scotland: A New Arctic Strategy’.
 
As part of the development of the Scottish Government’s Arctic Strategy, research has been commissioned from Glasgow Caledonia University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, on existing links between Scotland and the Arctic and how they can be further developed in the future. The findings will be published before the end of 2018.
 
Scotland’s Arctic Strategy will be published early in 2019.