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Valdemar Svensmark

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 This article is a C-class article. It is written satisfactorily but needs improvement. This article is part of Altverse II.
Valdemar Svensmark
Milan Roćen (cropped).jpg
Svensmark in 2015
Speaker of the Parliament of Greenland
Assumed office
3 October 2019
Monarch Frederik Vilhelm III
Preceded by Bjarne Lund
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nordic Cooperation
In office
10 September 1982 – 1 September 1987
Prime Minister Jonas Høyem
Preceded by Max Johannes Eriksen
Succeeded by Björn Arildskov
Personal details
Born (1941-12-08) December 8, 1941 (age 81)
Kap Dan, King Christian IX Land, Greenland
Nationality Greenlandic
Political party Højre
Alma mater Copenhagen Business School
Religion Avignon Catholic

Valdemar Svensmark (born 8 December 1941) is a Greenlandic politician. He was elected as a member of Parliament in the 2019 Greenlandic general election and has served as the Speaker of the Landstinget since then. Previously Svensmark had served as Greenland's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nordic Cooperation from 1982 to 1987, served as a Member of the American Parliament for Greenland from 1995 to 2005, and worked as an independent election observer for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on behalf of the Greenlandic government in multiple countries in the Balkans and Africa.

Early life

He was born in Kap Dan, on Kulusk Island, King Christian IX Land, Greenland, and graduated from the Copenhagen Business School in 1964.

Government service

Svensmark held a number of government jobs, including in the Greenlandic Delegation to the Nordic Council from 1969 to 1973 and at the Permanent Mission of Greenland to the League of Nations from 1975 to 1978. Svensmark joined Prime Minister Jonas Høyem's government from 1982 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nordic Cooperation until 1987. In that position he was an advocate of Greenland playing a greater role in international organisations to increase its own influence, including increased cooperation with other Nordic countries. In the early 1990s, Svensmark worked as an election observer for the OSC in eastern Europe and in central Africa.

He has been a member of the Højre since 1967, which has been the country's ruling party since it gained independence.

Manitoba–Greenland dispute

Hans Island is a small, uninhabited barren knoll measuring 1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi), located in the centre of the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait, which separates northwestern Greenland from the Manitoban Arctic Archipelago. The island was claimed by both the Kingdom of Manitoba and the Principality of Greenland, and a 1973 agreement signed by the two countries demarcating their maritime border did not specify who would own the island. In 1984, Svensmark visited Hans Island and raised the Greenlandic flag there, and during his tenure as Foreign Minister he led Greenland's policy in claiming control over Hans Island. As of 2016 no agreement was reached between Manitoba and Greenland over the island since then, and Manitoba has claimed the island as well. In 2022, Greenland and Manitoba signed an agreement establishing a border down the middle of the island.

Electoral history

In 1995 he was on the Højre party list for the Greenland constituency in the American Parliament, during the 1995 American Parliament election, the first one the country participated in since becoming a member of the CAS in 1994. Svensmark served as a MAP from Greenland from 1995 through 2005, when he chose not to run for reelection.

In 2019 he decided to be on the Højre's party list for members of parliament for the upcoming 2018 Greenlandic general election, and became an MP after the election. In October 2019, he was voted in by the party to replace Bjarne Lund as the Speaker of Parliament.

Personal life

Svensmark is married and has three children.