Democracy in the Arctic

Organized by the West Nordic Council 16. October 2015

The breakout session will focus on the question; Is there enough democracy in the Arctic? The international corporations and diplomats have a plan about the Arctic, but what about the elected representatives of the people who live in the Arctic? Do they have a say in what will happen or are we largely overlooking the important role of national parliaments? Should they have more influence in the decision making about Arctic affairs?

The West Nordic Council, a three decades old pan-Arctic inter-parliamentary cooperation forum between Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland, provides an example of how parliamentary cooperation can influence national Arctic agenda with recommendations to governments via parliaments. The session will offer insights on how the West Nordic parliaments have cooperated in their region and what impact the Arctic’s transformation will have on their future cooperation.


  • Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, MP, Member of the Icelandic Parliament; Vice-Chair of the West Nordic Council
  • Lars-Emil Johansen, MP, Chair of the Greenlandic Parliament and President of the West Nordic Council
  • Dalee Sambo Dorough, Professor at University of Alaska and Chairperson of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
  • Kuupik Kleist, Former Premier of Greenland; Member of the Honorary Board of the Arctic Circle


  • Jørgen Niclasen, MP, Member of the Faroese Parliament; Member of the West Nordic Council