Please join the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, in partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and Royal Norwegian Embassy, for an in-person conference, “Looking North: Conference on security in the Arctic” on Monday, April 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. ET at the Royal Norwegian Embassy (2720 34th St NW, Washington, DC, 20008). 

The rapidly changing Arctic environment, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and retreat from international mechanisms of cooperation in the region, the accession of two Arctic nations—Finland and Sweden—to NATO, and China’s growing interest and efforts to increase its access and influence in the region have altered the status quo in the High North. Maintaining a stable and peaceful Arctic as allies and partners face a new and more challenging security environment makes discussions like these more important than ever.

What actions and strategies must High North stakeholders pursue to ensure lasting stability for the region? What steps must key stakeholders take in an operationally challenging environment to further demonstrate operational capabilities, deter potential aggressors, and promote cooperation with allies and partners in the region? How should Norway, Sweden, and Finland, in their transformed capacity as NATO’s northern flank, reconsider their coordination, training, and activities across the Arctic, on both an individual basis and together?

Thank you for your interest in Looking North: Conference on security in the Arctic. Further registration is now closed.

To advance discussion on these and other Arctic security issues, please join the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and Royal Norwegian Embassy, for their annual in-person conference — Looking North. This event will bring together government officials and experts voices to assess drivers of change in the Arctic and how the United States, Norway, and its allies and partners can collectively approach security in the region. We will be joined by the Norwegian Minister of Defense, Bjørn Arild Gram, for keynote remarks. Further details on the agenda are forthcoming.

This event is open to the public and will be held in-person at the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The conference will not be livestreamed. Registration is required and all guests will need to bring a photo ID for check in. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and a lunch reception will follow the conclusion of the conference.

Agenda

Please note, all times listed are in eastern time (ET).

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Doors open

Welcome remarks

H.E. Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Ambassador of Norway to the United States

Jenna Ben-Yehuda, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
10:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Keynote remarks

H.E. Bjørn Arild Gram, Minister of Defence, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence

Panel | Defense and security in the High North

The rapidly changing Arctic environment, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and retreat from international mechanisms of cooperation in the region, the accession of two Arctic nations—Finland and Sweden—to NATO, and China’s growing interest and efforts to increase its access and influence in the region have disrupted the status quo in the High North. Maintaining a stable and peaceful Arctic as allies and partners face an increasingly contested region is now more challenging. What actions and strategies must High North stakeholders, particularly the United States, pursue to ensure lasting stability for the region? What steps should the United States take in an operationally challenging environment to further demonstrate operational capabilities, deter potential aggressors, and promote cooperation with allies and partners in the region?

Sherri Goodman, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Wilson Center; Board Director, Atlantic Council

Kathleen Larkin, Arctic Security Officer, United States Department of State

Esther McClure, Director, Arctic & Oceans Policy, United States Department of Defense

Moderated by:
David Auerswald, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Atlantic Council, Professor of Security Studies, National War College

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Conference break

Panel | NATO’s transformed northern flank

Rising geopolitical tensions across the globe require Arctic nations to rethink their security environment and infrastructure. This panel convenes representatives from three Arctic nations—Norway, Finland, and Sweden—to consider the shifts in regional stability that have contributed to two new additions to NATO—resulting in a transformed NATO northern flank with vast implications for security in Europe. What messages should key stakeholders convey to demonstrate strength and security in an increasingly contested Arctic? How should Norway, Sweden, and Finland, in their transformed capacity as NATO’s northern flank, reconsider their coordination, training, and activities across the Arctic, on both an individual basis and together?

H.E. Urban Ahlin, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States

H.E. Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of Finland to the United States

Ine Eriksen Søreide, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, Stortinget; Former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense

Moderated by:
Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
12:15 p.m.

Formal program close

Lunch reception

12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

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The Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes and influences the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.