Conversations with the Nordic Ambassadors

Fostering meaningful dialogues not only in public policy but on political landscapes and global affairs helps to reinforce lessons in the classroom and apply them with context. The Max Bell School was happy to welcome back Ambassadors to Canada from the Nordic countries for a second year, marking a continued partnership and shared commitment to meaningful exchanges and diverse perspectives. Last year, we welcomed the Ambassadors to Canada from Finland, Roy Eriksson; Iceland, Hlynur Guðjónsson; Norway, Jon Elvedal Fredriksen; and Sweden, Urban Ahlin. This year, the Ambassadors to Canada from Denmark, Hanne Fugl Eskjær; Finland, Jari Vilén; Iceland, Hlynur Guðjónsson; Sweden, Signe Burgstaller; and Norway, Trine Jøranli Eskedal, visited McGill to engage with MPP students about policy concerns on Arctic security, national defence, and the challenges facing Canada in this developing landscape.

Max Bell MPP students Anita Dernovici and Colleen Keilty echoed sentiments highlighted in the discussions with the Ambassadors in The Bell: Is Canada’s arctic policy on ice? The Ambassadors' engagement shed light on critical global security issues facing the north. The visit underscored the growing tensions in the Arctic region, emphasizing Russia's assertiveness and China's expanding interests. The Ambassadors' insights and perspectives emphasize the necessity for a comprehensive approach to address the challenges facing the Arctic, and Canada's preparedness in the evolving global landscape. As a result of the conversation with the Ambassadors, MPPs Dernovici and Keilty urged Canada to invest more in defence and security, saying, “Only when Canada understands the critical role of the Arctic will it finally be able to heed the call and adequately protect the region alongside Indigenous communities and Nordic allies.”

These discussions with the Nordic Ambassadors prove to be invaluable. It provided an opportunity to gain insights firsthand from the world of diplomacy and international relations. It allowed for a deeper understanding of the nuances that govern the forming and execution of foreign policies, especially within the context of global dynamics. This exchange was not only about imparting knowledge; it was a testament to the Ambassadors' belief in the power of collaboration and cross-cultural understanding. By engaging with future policy practitioners like the Max Bell MPPs, the Ambassadors open doors to potential collaborations while encouraging the exchange of ideas that transcend borders and ideologies.

The Max Bell School appreciates the opportunity to host another insightful discussion, as we strive to create environments and engagements where global leaders and future policymakers can come together for valuable conversations that shape our global understanding and foster impactful partnerships.

Group photo of Nordic Ambassadors and Max Bell faculty


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