UND to host Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. via Skype broadcast on Friday, Sept. 26


Amy Halvorson

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Kåre Aas will discuss The Arctic and the challenges it poses for Norway and the global community during a Virtual Ambassador Program

Norwegian Ambassador Kåre Aas will discuss the Arctic and the challenges it poses for Norway with University of North Dakota students via Skype broadcast, on Friday, at 1 p.m., Sept. 26, in the UND Center for Innovation Idea Lab.

The event is free to attend but space is limited. Attendees are expected to pre-register at http://goo.gl/kNP3i1. The event also will be live streamed via Adobe Connect.

According to Royal Norwegian Embassy, changes taking place in the Arctic pose unprecedented challenges and emerging opportunities. Arctic ecosystems and human societies will be the most affected, but the environmental changes in the Arctic have global implications as well. Some of the questions that will be discussed are: How should these challenges be handled? Is managing the Arctic a global task or is it solely the responsibility of the Arctic coastal states?

In this discussion with Ambassador Aas, students will have the chance to address these questions, learn why the Arctic is Norway's most important foreign policy priority, and debate how the United States should use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council next year.

At the end of Ambassador Aas's presentation, there will be a Twitter-based question and answer session, in which the Ambassador will answer selected questions with the hashtag #VirtualAmbassador. There will also be an opportunity beforehand and/or during the lecture for a student representative or professor to post questions on your behalf.

About the Virtual Ambassador Program

The Virtual Ambassador Program is a new initiative developed by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, intended to reach as many U.S. students as possible. Ambassador Aas will give a brief presentation via Skype on a topic central to Norwegian politics and the remaining time is spent in a question and answer session. UND will be one of the first universities to host this program.

About Ambassador Aas

Ambassador Aas's distinguished career with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1983. He left his position in Oslo as Political Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States. He presented his credentials to President Obama at the White House on Sept. 17, 2013.

Prior to his assignment as Political Director, Ambassador Aas served as the Norwegian Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 2008-10.

From 2003 to 2008, Ambassador Aas served as Director General, Department for Security Policy and the High North. In that capacity he had the bilateral relationships between Norway and the U.S., the Russian Federation and the Central Asian Republics in his portfolio, and chaired and/or was a member of several international groups working on nuclear disarmament and international peacekeeping operations.

From 2005-07 he also served as Norwegian Governor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.