International Round-Up: Greenland to represent Denmark in the Arctic Council

Elsewhere, there were dealings involving Burkina Faso, Iran, Austria and the UK

In the future, Greenland will speak and sign agreements on behalf of the Commonwealth in the Arctic Council.

Mette Frederiksen revealed the news last week at a press conference at Marienborg where a meeting with Greenland and the Faroe Islands was held.

The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by governments and indigenous people in the Arctic Region.

Frederiksen said that the move was down to Denmark not being an Arctic state, while Greenland was.

READ ALSO: Denmark muted forever? Left-wingers’ win in Greenlandic election could be telling for island’s future independence

Independence imminent? 
This momentum is seen as a push for independence for Greenland

Chairman of the Greenlandic Parliament, Múte Bourup Egede, expressed that he is pleased that Greenland has gained a more central role.

“We must be masters of our own house. The long-term goal is Greenlandic independence,” he said.

EU to end caged-farming and forced-feeding animals
On Thursday, a majority of the European Parliament called for the European Commission to put an end to caged farming animals and forced-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras. The assembly asked the European Commission to draft legislation, making sure that the use of cages is phased out in 2027. This is based on the proposal signed by 1.4 million European citizens.

Minister visits Burkina Faso
Development Minister, Flemming Møller Mortensen, paid a visit to Burkina Faso last week. Mortensen met some of the 1.2 million people internally displaced in the country and had talks with the Burkinabé foreign minister, security minister, heath minister and UNICEF concerning Denmark’s joint projects to build critical infrastructure for water supply, sanitation and health in the hard-pressed communities in the country.  

Travel restrictions to and from the UK tightened
Last week, the Danish COVID-19 task force tightened travel restrictions to and from the UK due to widespread B.1.617.2 or delta variant of COVID-19. Stricter travel restrictions came into effect on Friday 11 June at 00.00 and are valid until at least 26 June 2011. Find more information here.

Diabetes centre approved in the Faroe Islands
Out of a population of 53,000, 6,300 people in the Faroe Islands are affected by diabetes or other endocrinological diseases. The Health Council has approved the proposal to establish a diabetes centre on the island, which will be named Steno Diabetes Center and will be implemented in 2022. The same diabetes centre has already been established in five regions in Denmark and Greenland.

Øresund Bridge doubles up on solar energy
An additional 1,500 square meters of solar cells have been installed on Øresund Bridge, doubling its capacity to a total of 3,000 square meters. The increase is expected to produce around 500,000 kWh per year, which corresponds to approximately 10 percent of the electricity needed to operate the bridge.

Austria supports Denmark’s controversial migration policy
The recently-passed controversial law that allows Denmark to process asylum seekers abroad has been welcomed by Austrian interior minister, Karl Nehammer. Despite international condemnations, Nehammer called the law a “compelling approach” to deal with migration. He plans to visit Denmark to see how the implementation of the law works.

Iran-Denmark co-operation in geoscience.
A virtual meeting between Denmark and Iranian representatives stressed the need to co-operate by strengthening scientific and research relations in the field of geology and mining. Due to climate change, Iran experiences drought, floods, landslides and issues relating to water supply shortages.  The head of Geological Survey and Mineral Explorations of Iran,  Alireza Shahidi, hoped that the two countries could partner up in the use of satellite technologies.

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