Valdemar Svensmark

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Valdemar Svensmark
2015-01-05 2404 Tom Høyem (Landesparteitag FDP Baden-Württemberg).jpg
Svensmark in 2015
Speaker of the Parliament of Greenland
Assumed office
3 October 2018
Monarch Margrethe II
Governor-General Frederik Hakonsen
Prime Minister Viktor Andreasen
Preceded by Svend Erik Rosenkrantz
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, Greenland
Nationality Greenlandic
Political party Conservative Party
Alma mater Copenhagen Business School
Religion Catholic

Valdemar Svensmark (born 8 December 1941) is a Greenlandic politician. He was elected as a member of Parliament in April 2018 and has been the Speaker of Parliament since October 2018. Previously Svensmark had served as Greenland's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nordic Cooperation from 1982 to 1987, 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[edit | edit source]

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

Government service[edit | edit source]

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. From then until the early 2000s, Svensmark worked as an election observer for the OSCE in Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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

Canada–Greenland dispute[edit | edit source]

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 Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The island was claimed by both Canada and the Kingdom 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 Canada and Greenland over the island since then, and Canada has claimed the island as well.

Election to parliament[edit | edit source]

In 2017 he decided to be on the Conservative People's Party list for members of parliament for the upcoming 2018 Greenlandic general election, and became an MP after the election. In October 2018, he was voted in by the party to replace Svend Erik Rosenkrantz as the Speaker of Parliament.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Svensmark is married and has three children.