Norway’s Elvestuen appointed OSCE PA Special Representative for Arctic Issues

Ola ElvestuenOla ElvestuenCOPENHAGEN, 16 December 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) has appointed Norwegian parliamentarian Ola Elvestuen as the PA’s first Special Representative for Arctic Issues.

The newly established position will help ensure that the Assembly is kept informed of the latest developments and trends concerning the Arctic and will enhance the Assembly’s co-operation with other international organizations on this increasingly important region.

“Since members of the OSCE PA gathered in Tromso ten years ago to consider the specific environmental and security challenges faced by Arctic states, these challenges have only gained in prominence within both the Assembly and the international community,” President Kanerva said.

“The Paris Agreement on climate change provides even greater incentive for the creation of this new position, which will promote co-operation and better understanding among OSCE parliamentarians, particularly from the Arctic states. I am confident in Mr. Elvestuen’s leadership in this area and I look forward to working with him.”

In accepting the appointment, Elvestuen said:

“Challenges for the Arctic area are geopolitical, environmental and economic, and human-rights-related. That is, they cut across all dimensions of human security that the OSCE works on. There is the issue of emerging tensions between countries in the High North and of course there is climate change, which is resulting in serious environmental, security-related and social challenges, including special challenges for indigenous peoples. I am honored to assume this very timely position in the OSCE PA and I look forward to raising awareness and providing insight on Arctic issues.”

The mandate of the OSCE PA Special Representative for Arctic Issues is to:

• Raise awareness in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly regarding Arctic issues;

• Promote co-operation on Arctic issues within the OSCE PA among all Delegations, particularly within the Arctic region;

• Maintain contact with and follow up on the work of the OSCE regarding Arctic issues;

• Maintain contact with and follow up on the work of other international organizations dealing with and involved in the Arctic region;

• Monitor the situation in the Arctic region and report to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and to the President on relevant developments.

Elvestuen has been a Member of Norway’s Delegation to the OSCE PA since 2013. In his national parliament, the Storting, he serves as Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment. He held several posts in Oslo’s city council before becoming a parliamentarian.

There are currently eight other OSCE PA Special Representatives. Each holds a mandate pertaining to a specific issue within the Assembly’s work or to a specific geographical area represented in, or of particular importance to, the Assembly.

Click here for a full listing.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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