North Atlantic Development Strategy

At the initiative of the Icelandic presidency, the regional-policy sector of the Nordic Council of Ministers decided to draw up a North Atlantic Development Strategy (abbreviated NAUST, a contraction of its Norwegian title, Nordatlantisk Utviklingsstrategi).

The decision called for the establishment of a working group that draw up a draft of the strategy. The working group’s mandate stated that “NAUST shall be a cross-sectoral strategy for Nordic co-operation in the North Atlantic part of the Nordic region: the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and coastal Norway. The strategy shall build on relevant strategies and programmes in the Nordic Council of Ministers and not conflict with these.”

The working group was also instructed to include in NAUST the most important priorities for Nordic co-operation in the Nordic North Atlantic and any new priorities, with particular emphasis on integrating Agenda 2030 and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. The main purpose was to use the organisation to give the North Atlantic part of the Nordic region a strategic boost; the initiative draws some of its inspiration from the recommendations of the OECD’s 2011 analysis of the region. While limited in its geographic scope, the NAUST working group had a broad mandate to assess various thematic priorities.

The preparation process was financed by the regional sector and the Nordic co-operation ministers. NORA was commissioned to be the administrative body for the project and the secretariat for the working group.

Working group

The Committee of Senior Officials of the Nordic Council of Ministers was invited to nominate members of the working group. The final members of the working group (with the nominating sector in parentheses), were:

  • Höskuldur Þórhallsson, Iceland (chairman, regional)
  • Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir, Iceland (gender equality)
  • Andreas Stokseth, Norway (fisheries and aquaculture)
  • Marianne Synnes, Norway (research and education)
  • Elisabeth Smith, Norway (industry)
  • Kári Mortensen, the Faroe Islands (energy)
  • Kenneth Høegh, Greenland (agriculture and forestry)

In addition, advisers from fisheries and aquaculture and the environment attended some of the working group’s meetings.

NAUST was adopted by the Nordic ministers for sustainable growth in May 2019.

Read the full North Atlantic Development Strategy.