Greenland’s New Foreign Minister Addresses UK Parliamentary Group
Last Wednesday (9 June 2021), Greenland's new Minister for Industry, Trade, Foreign Affairs and Climate, Pele Broberg, addressed the UK parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Greenland, and took the opportunity to outline the domestic and international priorities for the new government in Nuuk.
More than 25 MPs and Lords were represented at the most recent meeting, at which the Foreign Minister highlighted the importance Greenland placed on its relationship with the UK, stressed the need for a bilateral trade agreement, clarified the new government's position on mining, discussed Greenland's close relationship with the British Overseas Territories, and outlined Greenland's role in relation to COP26 which will be held in Glasgow later this year.
Aiming to foster links and cooperation between the UK and Greenland, the creation of the cross-party group late last year made the UK Parliament the world's first outside the Kingdom of Denmark to have a Parliamentary group dedicated to Greenland.
Commenting following the meeting, APPG Greenland chair Brendan O’Hara MP outlined the importance of building ‘closer’ links between UK and Greenlandic Parliamentarians, stating, “It was a very useful and informative meeting in which we covered so much ground, including COP26, Arctic defence and security, relations with the new Biden administration and the future role of China in Greenland. There was of course, further discussion on the need for a Greenlandic / UK Trade Deal.“
Minister Broberg, who will represent Greenland at COP26 in Glasgow, told MPs and Peers that he will use the conference to highlight the impact climate change is having on Greenland and the urgent need for international action. The Minister stated: “(We) support the UK Government in the hosting of the COP26, and with our knowledge of the Arctic and the ice, we would like to contribute in making the COP26 in Glasgow a success.”
Dr Dwayne Ryan Menezes, Director of the Secretariat of the Greenland APPG and Founder and Managing Director of the Polar Research and Policy Initiative, emphasised the need for a trade deal, “which replicates as much as possible the principles underlying UK-Greenland trade prior to 31 December 2020.” He went on to say, “The UK has the largest commercial footprint for any single country in Greenland, with at least 16 firms holding mining licenses in Greenland headquartered in, listed in, or substantially connected to, the UK.”
The APPG for Greenland meets on a regular basis and is there to strengthen ties between politicians in both parliaments. Covid restrictions permitting, Brendan O’Hara MP hopes to meet Minister Broberg ahead of COP26 in Glasgow and will host the Minister in Westminster the next time he is in London.