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09/10/2013 | By | Reply More

Global Leaders Gather For Inaugural Arctic Circle Assembly October 12-14, 2013, in Reykjavik, Iceland


Representatives at Arctic Circle Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, are gearing up for the first international Arctic Circle event October 12-14, 2013, now reaching up with more than 900 participants from 40 nations.

Anticipated to be the largest and most diverse gathering of its kind, all eight Arctic nations including Russia and the United States as well as France, China, India, Germany, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Singapore.

What is the Arctic Circle?

Arctic Circle was created to increase participation in Arctic dialogue and strengthen the international focus on the future of the Arctic.

The Arctic Circle, organized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is a new mechanism for existing institutions, organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations to reach a global audience in an efficient way.

The mission of the Arctic Circle is to facilitate dialogue and build relationships to address rapid changes in the Arctic. With sea ice levels at their lowest point in recorded history, the world is waking up to the challenges and opportunities this presents for all of us. The Arctic Circle organizations and individuals aim to strengthen the decision-making process by bringing together as many international partners as possible to interact under one large “open tent.”

The Arctic Circle Assembly 2013

To discuss Arctic issues such as climate change, economic development and new shipping lanes, an influential mix of stakeholders will convene at the inaugural Arctic Circle assembly, October 12–14, 2013, at the Harpa Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland.

It will be the first large international gathering after leading states in Asia and Europe became part of the Arctic Council process.

The Arctic is now playing a significant role in issues such as globalization, economic development, energy exploration, environmental protection and international security. Plans for resource use and new sea routes linking Asia to Europe and America have led to an increased focus on the region.

Up to now, most Arctic conferences had been rather small and specialized,” President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland recently told CNN. “But the issues they talked about are all interrelated in important ways. There is therefore a need to create a forum where all the different constituencies — whether they were policy, experts or business constituencies — are able to come together.”


  • Arctic Business Cooperation: Investor Outlook
  • Climate Change: A Plan for Action?
  • Greenland’s Role in the Arctic
  • Northern Sea Routes: A New Era in Global Shipping
  • Arctic Energy Cooperation
  • Law of the Sea
  • The Future of Arctic Cooperation
  • The Future of Arctic Tourism
  • Polar Law: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Arctic Geopolitics
  • Arctic Ice Melt: Global Weather Events
  • Arctic Lessons for the Himalayan/Third Pole Region
  • The Alaskan State of the Arctic
  • The Republic of Korea in the Arctic
  • Russia and the Arctic
  • Singapore in the Arctic

The complete program for the Arctic Circle assembly may be found online.


  • Artur Chilingarov, Explorer and Special Envoy of President Vladimir Putin to the Arctic
  • Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President, Iceland
  • Aleqa Hammond, Premier, Greenland
  • Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator
  • Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, Prime Minister, Faroe Islands
  • Kuupik Kleist, Member, Parliament of Greenland
  • Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Founder, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners
  • Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator
  • Frederik Paulsen, Paulsen Editions
  • Michel Rocard, Former Prime Minister of France and Special Envoy of President Francois Hollande
  • Alice Rogoff, Publisher, Alaska Dispatch
  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
  • Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution
  • Sam Tan Chin Siong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore
  • Yao Tandong, Director, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Yunpeng Li, President, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (COSCO Group)

The Assembly will also feature video addresses from:

A complete list of speakers, including breakout session participants, may be found online.


If the Arctic future is going to be successful, it has to be more science driven and knowledge driven than many other international issues,” said President Grimsson.

We needed a more open and frank dialogue. The Arctic Circle hopes to be such an open and democratic forum where an activist, a journalist, anyone can be part of the debate.


Media will be granted complimentary access to the Assembly. Please contact Margret Stefansdottir at or +354-892-7163 for assistance in coordinating on-site interviews or with general media queries.


Please enjoy a short video that shows the global vision and agenda for the Arctic Circle. Following the Assembly, presentations will be archived on the Arctic Circle Vimeo page.


Please follow the Arctic Circle on Twitter at @ArcticAssembly, hashtag #ArcticCircle, and on Facebook for Arctic news and Assembly highlights. Updates will also be posted on Google+ and YouTube.


Presdient Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at Bessastaðir -Photo by Páll Stefánsson

Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson announced at a National Press Club Lunche on April 15, 2013 the creation of an international assembly named “Arctic Circle” to alert the world to glacial melting and other climate threats and what can be done about them.

Enjoy this inspiring video that shows the global vision for the first Arctic Circle assembly like as other Icelandic issues which he answered.

Watch video below – Courtesy the National Press Club  –

Run time: 60 minutes.


Join the Conversation

The consequences of Arctic climate change are emerging around the world. We must all work together to address these new challenges (and opportunities) in a responsible manner. Arctic Circle invite you to attend its inaugural assembly October 12–14, 2013, in Reykjavík, Iceland, to start this important work.

Secretariat: Dagfinnur Sveinbjornsson (Iceland) and Tracey Foster (New York)

Delegations: Jenny Wong Please direct general communications to the Secretariat at

Stay tuned of this unique International Arctic Circle EventsOctober 12-14, 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Category: Iceland

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