The Arctic has been high on the agenda of the Embassy this week as both Ambassador Bergdís Ellertdóttir and Hreinn Palsson DCM participated in Arctic events in Washington DC.
A secure and sustainable Arctic is a key foreign policy priority for Iceland and since Iceland took on the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Finland in May the Embassy has prioritized active participation in Arctic discussions in Washington DC.
On Tuesday, Hreinn Palsson DCM & DAT gave a presentation and participated in panel discussions at the Arctic Patrol Summit. Mr. Palsson emphasised the rules based international order and international cooperation in dealing with security issues in the Arctic.
Ambassador Ellertsdottir participated in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative Symposium at the Wilson Center on Thursday. The Fulbright Initiative has during the last 18 months provided the foundation for collaboration of all Arctic Council states on academic and scientific level facilitating important research, building bridges and raising awareness on Arctic issues. In her opening speech Ambassador Ellertsdottir stressed the importance of basing decisions concerning sustainable development of the future of the Arctic on sound science and know-how.
In honor of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholars the Ambassador hosted a reception at the residence. A great evening with fantastic scholars, members of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Commission Executive Directors, State Department representatives, alumni of the Fulbright Iceland Program and other friends of Fulbright. Fulbright fellow Erna Vala Arnardóttir (PhD student in music at the University of Southern California) gave a wonderful piano performance.