Furthering relationships with Arctic countries is helping Scotland to become a fairer and more prosperous nation, according to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Scottish Government is holding the Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, an event of the international Arctic Circle cooperation network. Some 350 people – including government ministers and officials, policymakers, corporations, academics and NGOs – are attending.
Opening the forum, the First Minister said:
“Countries around the world are dealing with the challenge of how to support a successful and dynamic economy while also building a fair and inclusive society. As Scotland seeks to achieve this aim, we have – and will continue to – look north for inspiration.
“Nations in the Arctic account for five of the top 11 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Not only that but they are high achieving when it comes to social provision and economic innovation and growth.
“I believe the strong links we have been building in recent years, illustrated by Scotland’s increasing engagement with the Arctic Circle organisation, is already proving to be mutually beneficial.
“From cooperation on the environment, to new business links, or how we empower local communities, we will continue to work with international partners, particularly our northern friends, to tackle the shared social and economic challenges we face.”
The Arctic Circle Forum includes talks and seminars covering shared challenges facing northern nations. The forum has a particular focus on innovation, science and sustainable development. The forum is being co-hosted by the Scottish Government and the Arctic Circle.
Speakers include: Arctic Circle Chairman Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson; Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson; Faroe Islands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs& Trade Poul Michelsen, and Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK Committee on Climate Change.