Iceland invites people to walk on a common path as they take over the Presidency for the Nordic Council of Ministers for 2019

Friday, 21 December 2018
Iceland invites people to walk on a common path as they take over the Presidency for the Nordic Council of Ministers for 2019

In 2019 Iceland will be taking over the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The main focus will be on youth, sustainable tourism and the sea in relation to the Global Goals. The ideas for Nordic solutions will come from the youth themselves.

“The overall headline for Iceland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019 is A Common Path. The inspiration for this has been drawn from Hávamál, the Vikings’ almost 1,000-year-old Eddaic poem,” says Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who continues: “Iceland’s Presidency for 2019 will we focus on three themes: the young, the sea and sustainable tourism. And the Global Goals will be our guiding principle.”

Youth in the Nordic countries

The vision of the Nordic Council of Ministers is for the Nordic region to be the best place in the world for children and young people. The Nordic countries have a responsibility for their youngest citizens; both those who were born here, and those who have travelled here from elsewhere. Accordingly, Iceland’s Presidency will focus on young people in the areas of education, culture and health. Young people and youth organisations will be invited to take part in the co-operation, both in this area and in the other two focus areas.

Sustainable tourism in the North

Tourism in the Nordic region has grown steadily in recent years. The interplay between nature, culture and history, together with infrastructural investment, has stimulated growth in the tourist industry. But a healthy balance must be struck between growth and protection, through sustainable tourism. The Global Goal for sustainable development is a guiding principle in Iceland's programme for the Presidency. Here, too, young people will be key players in implementing the Global Goals.

The ocean – blue growth in the North

The sea is a source of welfare and values, and is of great importance to all of Scandinavia’s nature, culture and trade. The sea must continue to contribute to this, but the Nordic Region must also work for sustainable development to ensure that marine resources are protected. Plastics and the bioeconomy will be in focus, and young entrepreneurs will be invited to develop new solutions to the problems of the sea in collaboration with the Nordic innovation environment.

Nordic steps to achieve the Global Goals

The three focus areas in the programme form a solution-oriented starting-point for Iceland’s Presidency in a Nordic region undergoing change. Iceland is looking forward to the Presidency in 2019, for the Nordic region is something that concerns us all,” says Auðunn Atlason, Director of the Nordic Secretariat, Iceland. The programme contributes to co-operation on the common challenges facing the Nordic countries in achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 Global Goals in the Nordic Region.


Read the full report ´A Common Path: Iceland's Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019´


The article has been published on October 30th 2018 at


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Angelika Lebedev

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