Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
On 18-19 May, I undertook a two-day overseas visit to Norway. The primary purpose of the visit was to join Urdd Gobaith Cymru as it marked the centenary of its message of peace and goodwill; however, I also undertook a wider programme of diplomatic and economy focussed events whilst I was in Oslo.
On the first day, I met with the British Chargé d’affaires to Norway where we discussed the economic and political situation in Norway. I then travelled to the Nobel Peace Center for the launch of the 100th Peace and Goodwill Message from the Urdd focussing on the Climate Emergency. The message is a call to action by the children and young people of Wales to the young people of the world, to use the power of their voice to urge governments and large corporations to take urgent action to save our planet. I had the opportunity to meet with students from Aberystwyth and Norway as well the Director of the Nobel Peace Center and the Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University.
I met with a Norwegian renewable energy company, which has a presence in Wales, to learn more about its plans to expand its portfolio and presence in Wales as well as how the company can support our Net Zero Wales plan.
Later that day I met the National Council of Norway's Children and Youth Organisations (LNU), which represents 105 youth organisations across Norway, to talk about the rights of children and young people both in Wales and Norway. It was also an opportunity to discuss Taith as well as learn about Norway’s plans to allow young people of 16-17 years to vote and share the experiences that we have had in Wales.
On the 19 May, I met with a prominent Norwegian multinational which, amongst its portfolio, manages a number of renewable energy companies. We discussed the strengths that Wales has in wind and tidal energy, as well as nuclear, including the strength of our relationship with Ireland and our plans for renewable energy in the Celtic Sea.
Finally, I met with Sprakradet – the Norwegian Language Council – to discuss Norway’s approach to protecting the minority languages of Norway. Of particular importance to Wales and Norway is the protection of place names and we agreed to work together to share best practice on supporting minority languages.