Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Diplomatica: No chill with China, Taiwanese envoy insists

Jennifer Campbell, ottawacitizen.com


As she said goodbye to Canada after 3½ years, Norwegian Ambassador Mona Brøther said she’s pleased to have deepened the reputation and knowledge about Norway in Canada.
“This is the core of public diplomacy,” said the veteran ambassador, who will now retire after 40 years in the foreign service. “We are good neighbours — even with the ocean between us.”

Norwegian Ambassador Mona Brother.
Outgoing Norwegian Ambassador Mona Brøther says Canadians are interested in the Nordic societal model that is based on equality. SAM GARCIA

She said the Arctic was the umbrella of her efforts as it’s Norway’s No. 1 foreign policy priority.
“We are in the forefront of the Arctic theatre,” she said, and added that 80 per cent of Arctic shipping goes through Norwegian waters. “Climate change manifests itself in a very dramatic way up north.”
She said she participated in several conferences and panels at universities. Most recently, she was invited by Memorial University to Fogo Island as one of 30 “Arctic thinkers” who spent two days debating the issues facing the north.
“There is also an interest in the Nordic model in Canada,” she said. “The Nordic countries are on the top of all statistics. The model is based on a society characterized by equality. It is a balance between a strong state and a robust private sector that has sufficient liberty to prosper and create workplaces.” 
She’s also spoken often of Norway’s Oil Fund, into which Norwegian petroleum surpluses are deposited. “It is the pride of Norway and it helps us be a player in the International financial market,” she said of the nearly $1-trillion fund.
She said it’s been a rewarding mission because Canadians are interested in Norway and she’s been able to report back to Oslo on the ways Canada addresses its issues.
She said top on her successor’s agenda will be working with Canada on how oil-producing countries address climate change. ...

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