Friday, 27 January 2012 14:10

New Danish Arctic Ambassador

His Excellency Ambassador Klavs A. Holm His Excellency Ambassador Klavs A. Holm Photo: IPS

New Danish Arctic Ambassador

Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal has recently appointed the first Arctic Ambassador in Denmark. The person in charge of the official Danish Arctic representation will be Mr. Klavs A. Holm who has been active in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark since 1980.

During his diplomatic career, Mr. Holm has been Danish Ambassador in London, Paris, Singapore as well as represented Denmark in the EU. Mr. Holm's experience with Arctic affairs stems from his term in Brussels where he dealt with Greenland and political issues of the Arctic region.

The appointment of Mr. Holm as Arctic Ambassador came just two months after the statement of Foreign Minister Søvndal that the Danish Government was about to establish the office of Arctic Ambassador. The Arctic Ambassador will represent the Kingdom of Denmark in relation to the common Danish and Greenlandic interests in the Arctic.

Political, social and climate changes in the Arcitc require a representative making visible the Danish opinions on Artic issues, Mr. Søvndal stressed. In his view, the opportunities and challenges the Kingdom is facing in the Arctic region should be handled jointly by Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The Arctic Ambassador position will be a permanent function in the future. Overall coordination of Denmark’s Arctic activities as laid out in the Danish Arctic Strategy will be the main responsibility of the Arctic Ambassador. Mr. Holm himself stresses the uniqueness of this function that will allow him to take part in the political process of creating a secure development of the Arctic.

According to the Greenlandic Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist, appointing an Arctic Ambassador plays an important role on the Arctic political scene. It may put the Arctic on the international political agenda, Mr. Søvndal and Mr. Kleist unanimously stressed.

The role of the new Ambassador has a distinct international character about it. Apart from his involvement in international efforts to turn the Artic into a model region with regard to security, search and rescue strategies, the Ambassador will also deal with mining issues and with the development of Indigenous Arctic societies.

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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
Fram Centre, Postboks 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway