A knowledge forum has been organised on 27-28 November in Riga, Latvia as part of the Nordic Council of Ministers' project for a smarter, faster and more effective fight against trafficking. The main focus of the forum is the social consequences of trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region, and in particular, the situation of the vulnerable victims.
Textile production requires enormous quantities of water. 1,400 litres are needed to produce just one t-shirt, which equals more than 10 bathtubs. The Nordic Council of Ministers focuses on ways in which Nordic consumers can minimize the negative environmental impact of textile production in a new consumer guide and video.
On Monday, members of the Nordic Council met with representatives from the Baltic Assembly, the Benelux Parliament and the Visegrád countries, as well as MPs from Georgia and Ukraine. On the agenda were the current situation in Ukraine and its regional and global ramifications. A range of measures were proposed to support democracy, security and stability in the country.
Since 2011 the Nordic Council of Ministers has financed the Knowledge Triangle project, which has as its objective to create tangible benefits to society through networks that facilitate collaboration between research, education and innovation. As a result, the project has created 10 networks so far: 4 in the Nordic Region and 6 Sino-Nordic networks between the Nordic Region and China. On 17 November representatives from the networks got together at a seminar in the EU parliament in Brussels to share experiences and results with each other.
Three institutions under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ umbrella, NordForsk, Nordic Energy Research and Nordic Innovation, are joining forces to use research and innovation to find solutions to environmental and societal challenges. The programme is launched just as the Nordic Top-level Reaserch Initiative holds its final Flagship Conferenc on November 18-19.
The Great Nordic Climate Challenge starts today, on Nordic Climate Day, 11 November. It is a fun but informative competition between schools in the Nordic countries. The target group is pupils aged 12-14 in the Nordic countries (6-8 grade in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, and 7-9 grade in Norway and Iceland).
Nordic initiatives aimed at increasing the level of male involvement in gender-equality work have made considerable progress in recent years. The ministers for gender equality are now putting together a task force to identify the most successful initiatives. They have also commissioned a “catalogue for the future”, consisting of robust proposals for achieving maximum Nordic synergy in this field.
"For me one thing seems obvious: We have a security situation crying out for closer Nordic co-operation on defence and security." These were the opening words of Thorvald Stoltenberg's speech to the Nordic Council MPs at the annual Session in Stockholm. According to Stoltenberg, this cry should be answered by a Nordic defence and security commission.
To what extent should the Nordic Council take a position and act on matters of foreign policy and how should the Region's international responsibility be weighed in relation to Nordic advantage for its citizens? The member's proposal on a broader Nordic recognition of an independent state of Palestine led to an hour-long debate in the Nordic Council on Tuesday evening.
The defence and security situation in the Nordic Region will set the tone for the current affairs debate at the Nordic Council's Session in Stockholm next week. The guest speaker will be Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Norwegian foreign and defence minister and author of the much-discussed Stoltenberg report.
In the light of the ebola epidemic, the Nordic ministers for health and social affairs have called on the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to look at the options for a co-ordinated Nordic response. The goal is to limit the risk of infection and provide access to resources and treatment, as well as Nordic co-ordination of safe medical evacuation of infected patients.
The Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide, spoke at a roundtable conference on defence in the Nordic Region hosted by the Nordic Council in the parliament in Oslo on 13 October 2014. "It is pleasing that the Nordic Council has started to play a more active role in discussions about security policy," she said. The minister also described Nordic-Russian relations as permanently changed as a result of the situation in Ukraine.
Where will New Nordic Food be in ten years? Does the Nordic kitchen live up to the ideals that started the whole Nordic food movement ten years ago? And how can we get more social advantage out of the potential inherent in "the Nordic"? The Nordic Council of Ministers will explore these questions in a series of workshops in the coming months.