Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation for Iceland, and Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, Chair of the board of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN) and Rector of the University of Akureyri, have signed a five-year renewal agreement on cooperation.
The signing took place in Akureyri on 1st September 2021. As stated by Mr. Þórðarson during the event, continued cooperation with the IACN is cause for celebration. "A strong Arctic cluster has developed in Akureyri. Our expectation is that the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network will continue leading this development in accordance with the new Arctic Policy approved by the Parliament last spring. I am not sure everyone realizes the robust Arctic activity taking place under one roof, spearheaded by the Stefansson Arctic Institute, two Arctic Council Working Groups Secretariats, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the University of Akureyri. We Icelanders are all Arctic residents, but residents of Akureyri and Northern Iceland are leading in this field “.
Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, and Pétur Ásgeirsson, Iceland's newly appointed Senior Arctic Official to the Arctic Council's, were also present at the signing of the agreement.
The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network was established in 2013 as a Center for Arctic research and as a venue for cooperation for those working on Arctic issues. It is an independent institution that has from its inception received core funding through contracts with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Additionally, the IACN has supported the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2019-2021) in various ways, such as organizing events, leading important projects within the Arctic Council on behalf of Iceland and representing Iceland in one of the Council's Working Groups.
Under the agreement, the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network will provide support to the implementation of Iceland's new Arctic Policy, unanimously approved by the Icelandic Parliament on 19 May 2021. Special attention is given to item 19 of the policy, which stipulates that Akureyri be further strengthened as a Centre for Arctic Affairs in Iceland; among other things through support for educational and research institutions and knowledge centers, and increased emphasis on national consultation and cooperation on Arctic issues.
Photo: Akureyri.net/Skapti Hallgrímsson. From Left: Pétur Ásgeirsson, Ambassador, Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, Rector, Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director IACN, and Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation
(Source: Unofficial translation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs news item, Endurnýjaður samstarfssamningur við Norðurslóðanetið,https://www.stjornarradid.is/efst-a-baugi/frettir/stok-frett/2021/09/01/Endurnyjadur-samstarfssamningur-vid-Nordurslodanetid/?fbclid=IwAR0Mo_IyPlVVvRbs65DGjk1eM_tiUTyPgZ1LzzQTW1-Cjd577pUCDWv04EU)