This week it was all about the Arctic for us in Washington DC. This of course is connected to Iceland’s Arctic Council Chairmanship and we hope it will raise awareness of Arctic issues among US decision makers.
The Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson, and Iceland’s Senior Arctic Official Mr. Friðrik Jónsson, met with key Arctic officials from the State Department and the US Coast Guard in Washington this week. They, along with Ambassador Ellertsdóttir and Embassy staff, also met with Arctic experts from the think tank community, among them Wilson Center, CSIS, Heritage and CNAS.
In addition to this, Ambassador Gunnarsson participated in panel discussions about Arctic civilian security on Capitol Hill with representatives and staff from the US Congress. The event was organized jointly by the Wilson Center´s Polar Institute, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish Embassies in Washington DC.
Ambassador Bergdís Ellertsdóttir welcomed three Yale Arctic graduate students, Tiffany Chan, Sóley Kaldal and Matt Trevithick, to the Embassy. The groups is analyzing the changing Arctic and searching for viable solutions for the future of the area and its peoples. Important work which will be a valuable input into policy work in the Arctic.