ALGIERS – Saturday, 14 October 2023 (APS) – On 16-18 October, Algeria will host the 20th session of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of African-Nordic Countries, themed “Africa-Nordic Countries: Strengthening Dialogue on the Basis of Shared Values.”


This meeting, held for the first time in Algeria since it was launched in 2001 at the initiative of the late Anna Lindh, former Swedish Foreign Minister, will see a “record” attendance compared with previous sessions, with some twenty foreign ministers, vice-ministers, senior government officials from both groups and the heads of several African Union (AU) bodies expected to participate.

Some thirty countries will be taking part, including the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland) and a large number of African countries representing the different regions of the continent.

The meeting aims to strengthen dialogue and consultation between African countries and their Nordic counterparts on a number of important issues relating to international peace and security, sustainable development and economic partnership.

It also aims to boost cooperation between African and Nordic countries at the level of international bodies, notably the United Nations (UN), with a view to contributing to the consolidation of multilateralism and finding ways to meet the challenges posed by climate change, increasing migration and cross-border terrorism.

The participants will also discuss possible ways of promoting economic and trade cooperation and seizing the opportunities offered for expanding partnerships and investment in both directions. In this respect, Northern European countries are expected to play their part in supporting African countries to rebuild their economic systems and adapt them to scientific developments and technological change.

This meeting is “particularly symbolic”, as it brings together people from the North and South of the world, driven by a clear common desire for cooperation, cohesion and growing hope for a promising future that recognizes equal opportunities and shared gains, despite the uncertainty and exacerbated crises, particularly in Africa, which urgently needs all international efforts to help it overcome these dangerous situations.

The event is taking place in a delicate international and regional context, marked by a wave of crises and tensions that are shaking countries and weakening them, particularly in Africa, and precisely in Algeria’s close neighborhood in the Sahel, leading to the spread of poverty, famine and precariousness, and consequently the loss of hope for many people who will be easy prey for the scourge of terrorism and organized crime groups.

For this purpose, the meeting will include consultations on the current situation and the challenges posed by these negative scourges, which require the combined efforts of all concerned, especially as the countries of northern Europe are “active international players” in the provision of humanitarian aid to Africa.

In view of the growing importance of the role of young people in the management of contemporary world issues, a session will be devoted to youth, dealing with education in Africa, with the participation of young Africans and their counterparts from Northern European countries. This session will be moderated by Mohamed Belhocine, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation at the African Union (AU). The session will include an interactive debate between these young people and the foreign ministers of the participating countries.

In line with the guidelines laid down by the country’s high authorities, Algeria is working to ensure the success of this meeting, which highlights its constructive role on a global scale and in Africa as a key player in the promotion of peace and security.

The high level of participation expected from Northern European countries, whose foreign policy is based on neutrality on a wide range of issues, should have a major impact and make a significant contribution to future relations between the two groups.