John Kerry on stage at Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik in 2019. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Arctic Circle Assembly gears up for start of in-person meeting on October 14

The Arctic Circle Assembly, one of the biggest northern-themed conferences in the world, is gearing up for its four-day, in-person gathering starting October 14 in Reykjavik.
October 11, 2021


By Eilís Quinn 

“This will also be the first big multi-sectorial gathering in Europe to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic began,” the organizers said in a news release.

They’ll be approximately 100 sessions offered this year, with more than 1,000 participants from 50 different countries.

As usual, the opening session will feature ministers and government representatives speaking on their Arctic strategies or policies.

Some of the confirmed speakers include:

  • Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on President Joe Biden’s Arctic strategy
  • Virginijus Sinkevicius, the EU commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, on the EU’s new Arctic strategy
  • Kalistat Lund, Greenland’s minister for Agriculture, Self-sufficiency, Energy and the Environment, on Greenland’s Arctic priorities 

The Arctic Circle began in 2013 as a way to bring together those interested in the Arctic, whether in the North, or elsewhere in the world. It was established by former Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.

The venue for Arctic Circle Assembly, Harpa, Reykjavik. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Before the pandemic, the annual assemblies in Reykjavik drew more than 2,000 people.


They’re attended by everyone from politicians and Indigenous leaders to NGOs, businesspeople and academics.

Canada-themed sessions at this year’s gathering include everything from the evolution of Arctic policy in Quebec, to a session on Youth voices in the Arctic organized by Global Affairs Canada.

The event will run October 14-17 at Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre.


This story is posted on the Barents Observer as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.



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