Norwegian Ambassador to Canada; specialized in global initiatives, communications and public diplomacy; previous Ambassador to Chile and Venezuela.
MONA E. BRØTHER has degrees in Spanish, History and Political Science. She joined the Norwegian Foreign Service in 1979 and has held a number of distinguished positions. Her first posting was in Caracas, Venezuela from 1981-84. She served as Ambassador to Chile (2000-2005) and Ambassador to Venezuela (2008-2009). Her main area of work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been within public diplomacy and cultural promotion, but she has also been involved in the Norwegian Agenda on Sustainable Development from the Brundtland report in 1987 through to its anniversary in 2007. Between 1998-2000, she was the Head of Section for Sustainable Development of the MFA. She was also the Project Coordinator for the Global Initiative on Legal Empowerment of the Poor that was led by Madeleine Albright and Hernando de Soto, a contribution to innovative thinking within the development agenda and that delivered its report to the Secretary General of the UN in 2008. Since 2009 she has been the Deputy Director General of the Department for Cultural Promotion, Public Diplomacy and Protocol in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was nominated as the Norwegian Ambassador to Canada in April 2012.
Norway and Canada have a strong trade and investment relationship built on complementary resource endowments, similar levels of development, and shared interests and values. Norway's investment in Canada supports Canadian GDP and jobs, and Norwegian investments supply Canada's economy with much-needed capital.
We depend on the ecosystems of the world for our survival. With this in view it is vital to ensure that the oceans of the world are managed responsibly. We need partnerships, and we need goals. And we all have to do our part.
The fast approaching deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is a reminder of vital commitments by all the global society on priorities vital for development. On July 6-7 2015, Norway hosted a global summit on education for development and attempted to do precisely this.
History shows how energy and foreign policy issues have been closely intertwined. There is little doubt that this relationship will continue to strengthen in line with increased instability in the international political system. I do not need to say more than Ukraine/Russia and the Middle East to underline this point. For Norway, energy diplomacy is higher than ever on the priority scale. This recognizes that to understand and act in a rapidly changing energy world, there is a need to understand how market and foreign policy factors interact.
Oil and gas exploration-driven advancement towards the High North and the ice brink is disputed in Norway, as elsewhere. When examining factors such as oil prices and the northern harsh conditions, rapid industrial development in the Norwegian Barents Sea is not a given.
To celebrate the ideas of the constitution made more 200 years back might seem irrelevant and outdated. However, for Norwegians everywhere May 17 is a reminder of freedom fight, of identity, and of gratefulness for shared values. In Canada, we find a close ally that share these ideas.
Women's Day on March 8 gives us all a mandate to examine our progress, and to reflect on our values, ideals, and plans for ourselves and our societies. Norway is regularly nominated as one of the best and most equal countries to live in the world.
According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Norway had 5.83 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of January 1, 2014, the largest oil reserves in Western Europe. The enormous income to the state from the industry made it possible to create a global pension fund that now owns more than one per cent of global share value.
A celebration of our history brings us to reflect on the present. There are certain questions we must ask ourselves. What challenges do Norway, Canada, and other like-minded countries face in our efforts, for example, to promote democracy, protect, and live in an inclusive society with equal rights and non-discriminatory practices? What is our role in the global picture?
Norway, like Canada, has a time-honoured history of polar exploration. Canada's Arctic Archipelago is one of the least accessible regions in the world; this maze has been the object of fascination and obsession for centuries.
The only way to fight ocean acidification is through a reduction in the global level of CO2 emissions. It is vital for Norway and other key players that the climate summit in Paris next year is successful. Norway is committed to the process and to achieving an ambitious outcome as we work towards the two-degree target and a low carbon society.
The Arctic is one of the places where climate change is most rapid and easy to observe. As it is also very sparsely populated, it is easy to think that, similar to the small island states in the Pacific, the Arctic peoples have to pay a big price for developments elsewhere.
Cooperation between Arctic stakeholders is crucial for each country's success in dealing with climate change. We are in a new era of sustainable development as the Arctic presents us with major opportunities and major responsibilities. Cooperation is the only tool to ensure ethical, social, and ecological sustainable development.
In Norway, 1814 is known by many as "The Year of Miracles" because of the huge national and political changes that suddenly and rapidly took place that year. 1814 is the starting point for modern Norwegian democracy. It had both a national and a democratic element: independence for the state of Norway and liberty for Norwegian citizens