Today, Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson addressed the graduation ceremony of the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme in Reykjavik. The Minister underlined that the training programme has a particular role to play in Iceland´s foreign policy. The guiding principle for Iceland´s international development cooperation is to contribute in areas where Iceland has specific expertise and knowledge to offer. Geothermal power generation features prominently in such considerations and the programme has been an important component of Iceland´s international development cooperation since it was established in 1978.
Addressing the graduates, the minister emphasized the importance of science and technology for economic and social development. “In this globalized world, both global and local solutions are needed. And we all have a role to play. You, with your valuable know-how, are the special envoys of new and fascinating opportunities. Harnessing geothermal energy offers us a way to make our own communities more prosperous while at the same time mitigating climate change. It is indeed a win-win approach.” Minister Skarphéðinsson said.
The UNU Geothermal Training Programme was established in 1978. Since its inception 452 fellows from 47 countries have graduated from the programme´s six months specialized training courses in Iceland. More than twenty people have graduated from the MSc programme and two are currently pursuing PhD studies. Furthermore, the programme offers short courses and training workshops in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Central America.
Further information about the UNU Geothermal Training Programme