Women’s rights to decide if they want children, when they want them and with whom they want them. That was on the agenda at a high-level roundtable meeting in the Danish Ambassador Lars Lose’s Residence on Friday April 21st. Together with the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, Ambassador Lose hosted a roundtable discussion on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
An important agenda
The high-level meeting referenced the new initiative She Decides. She Decides is a movement initiated with the decreasing U.S. support for organizations working with family planning in developing countries. Accordingly, She decides works to strengthen women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR agenda). Put simply: Women’s right to decide if they want children, when they want children and with whom they want children.
The meeting was in continuation of the She Decides Conference co-hosted by Denmark and held in Brussels on March 2. The main purpose of the discussion this Friday evening was to keep the momentum of the movement and take She Decides forward. The attendants were asked to provide ideas for action points and concrete deliverables. Around the table were ministers and senior officials, UN executive directors, as well as CEO’s from civil society and private fund managers.
Brainstorm-session and a positive spirit
The atmosphere was good among the participants during the meeting. Everyone agreed on the objective and was ready to brainstorm ideas and tools to promote the agenda. She decides is working to increase both financial and political support for sexual health and family planning worldwide. Financial contributions go to the organizations affected by cuts. Contributions are therefore given to ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion.
Both Ambassador Lose and Minister Tørnæs hosting, were happy with the outcome of the meeting, and the movement’s forward strategy. She decides is a strong statement in support of women’s human rights – focusing on women in developing countries and the SRHR-agenda. An agenda with very important implications for every woman’s and girl’s own health, socio-economic situation and personal development.
Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, confirmed strong relations with the U.S. on trade and the fight against terrorism
Thursday March 3rd the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visited The White House as only the fourth European leader during President Trump’s leadership following British Prime Minister Theresa May, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
President Trump and Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen discussed various topics including free trade, green transition and the fight against terrorism, Løkke Rasmussen told the press.
Løkke Rasmussen called the meeting with Trump, which lasted for more than an hour, »a good discussion«.
»Donald Trump has a very clear vision for the United States and that the country must be ‘great again’. But I also experience a President, who is open to some contributions on how the United States can do it in a way so they at the same time fulfil the role as the leader of the free world, « Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.
»I articulated the value of free trade, green conversion and the new sustainable goals in the UN, and it is also important to deliver on them, « Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.
The two world leaders sat down in The Oval Office before the meeting. Trump called Denmark a »very good ally« and that Denmark and the U.S. has »a truly great relationship and we’re working together on many fronts, « Trump said.
While in Washington D.C., the Prime Minister also had a meeting with some of the ADBC member companies and biggest Danish companies operating in the United States. Together with Vestas, Terma, DONG Energy, Arla Foods, Maersk, LEGO, Novo Nordisk and government officials, Lars Løkke Rasmussen had a business luncheon at the Danish Embassy to discuss business in in the United States.
The Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, met with ministers of the global coalition against ISIS.
Along with 67 other countries, the Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, took part in a ministerial meeting in Washington D.C. against the terror organisation ISIS. Denmark is one of the most committed countries to the ISIS-coalition and contributes both militarily including with Special Forces and with humanitarian and stabilisation assistance.
The meeting took place in State Department March 22nd with Secretary Rex Tillerson hosting the ministerial.
Tillerson concluded is his opening remarks that fighting ISIS is the US’ objective number one.
Mr. Samuelsen also underscored that the coalition should continue the fight, and that after the expected military victory against ISIS, the peace should also be won.
The Danish FM met briefly with his counterpart Tillerson as well as the Secretary of Defence, James Mattis at the meeting. Samuelsen said to the Danish media TV2, that Denmark is committed to the fight against ISIS.
»Denmark is not pulling out. We stand together in the coalition,« Samuelsen said.
Just hours before the start of the meeting, terror stroked in London when a man who sympathizes with ISIS killed three people including a police officer in front of the British parliament.
The terror was widely condemned along the Foreign Ministers including the British FM Boris Johnson. Samuelsen condoled to his British colleague and made it clear, that the terror act does “emphasize how awful an enemy we are dealing with”.
Samuelsen also met with Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to underline our strong transatlantic relations and discuss topics including Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Every year, the community around the city of Virginia Beach and the surrounding military bases celebrate Patriot Festival during the weekend after Memorial Day.
Three years ago, the United Services Organization (USO), an organization dedicated to support members of the US military and military veterans, decided to use that festival as the anchor point for an event to promote the well-being of wounded warriors and their families. Thus Warrior Week was born.
Last year, the Embassy hosted a group of Danish wounded veterans and arranged for a visit with the USO to inspire our veterans with new ideas about helping those, who have been wounded in battle. Our hosts mentioned Warrior Week as one of the initiatives they have come up with to support veterans, in this case by giving them an opportunity to take part in activities that challenge them physically and mentally in a very supportive environment.
Earlier this year, we were proud to learn that our veterans had received an official invitation to send 20 soldiers and 20 family members to Warrior Week 2017, where they will be able to go sky diving, deep sea fishing, surfing, water skiing, horseback riding, shooting, or just hang out on the beach and enjoy time off with a loved one and with old and new friends while watching concerts and getting a healthy dose of American hospitality.
The United States has decades of experience in how to take care of her military veterans, often in a partnership between federal and state agencies, and private charities, and the Embassy is working with a number of US partners to learn from their experiences and see what might work in a Danish setting, where the unique needs of wounded soldiers is a relatively new challenge. We have taken the Danish participation in Warrior Week as an opportunity to show Danish decision makers new ways of helping and to show Danish industry and charities some of the things that have been proven to work over here. The Danish Ministry of Defense is putting together a fact-finding mission, which will observe the activities and meet with the USO and other organizations to learn from their experiences. We hope that this initiative will be another step in getting our veterans the support they deserve for their sacrifices. The event page can be found HERE.
In addition to all the events going on during Warrior Week, ADBC will host a reception in honor of the attending Danish veterans June 1st. Ambassador Lars Lose along with other dignitaries are expected to be attending, and we invite all ADBC members to attend and show their support. We will send out more information as the date gets closer.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact ADBC at email@example.com.
On May 13th 2017, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of 28 EU Member States to the United States open their doors to the public during the EU Open House Day. As an exclusive opportunity for our ADBC member companies, the Embassy of Denmark invites you to showcase your company during our open house event.
Smart and liveable cities
The Danish Embassy will be focusing on Smart Cities and smart approaches for more liveable cities. By 2050, more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas, creating many challenges for the planning, development and operation of cities. These challenges call for ‘smart’ approaches to ensure that cities are optimized for economic activity, energy consumption, environmental impact and ‘the good life’. Dennmark is known for smart solutions allowing cities to become more intelligent and efficient in their use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint – all supporting innovation and a low-carbon economy.
If you would like to showcase a product or service, be represented with flyers, roll-ups or merchandise, or in any other way showcase the expertise and innovation of your company, please contact Christian Mørch Frederiksen at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible as space is limited. There is no participation fee for members of ADBC.
About the EU open house event
This annual event is the highlight of the Washington May calendar and is celebrated during Europe Week. The event draws +50.000 visitors in total and +5000 to the embassy of Denmark alone. Each embassy will open to the public on Saturday May 13th 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm, offering a rare look inside the buildings as well as providing a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage and national traditions. To read about last years event click here.
On January 11th 2017, the Embassy of Denmark and World Resources Institute (WRI) are organizing the event “Rethinking urban transportation: How can cycling and public space contribute to better cities?”
Leading up to the event, the Embassy of Denmark and WRI are organizing a bicycle tour in Washington D.C. which will feature high ranking civil servants from Washington DC’s administration as well as representatives from the media, businesses and civil society.
Globally, the growing use of vehicles in urban transportation creates congestion, increases pollution and exacerbates climate change. As urban areas are already home to half of the global population, the problem will only grow worse as the figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Thus, the decisions that political leaders, developers and planners make today has profound impact on the liveability in urban areas over the next century.
In American urban centers, the transportation landscape is undergoing a transformation. While privately owned cars remain popular other forms of transportation are emerging. Bicycling has become markedly more popular in recent years, public transportation systems are increasingly under economic strain and new modes of transportation such as Uber/Lyft are emerging. Also, the development of autonomous vehicles is a potential game changer to the transportation sector is raising pressing ethical, practical and legal questions. In addition, cities are finding new ways to make streets more oriented to people and create public spaces that enliven cities socially, environmentally and in health.
The event means to highlight the Danish experience in shaping great cities for bicycling and public space, and how other cities such as Washington, D.C. are making changes to create streets safer for all road users. The event seeks to address the following questions; What role can bicycles and other modes of transportation play in addressing traffic congestion? How can public spaces and streets be designed and provided in a way that is good for all people and the environment?
As an outcome of the change of administration in the U.S., the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, will return to the U.S. in January 2017. Ambassador Gifford has served as Ambassador to Denmark since 2013.
In December, Ambassador Gifford visited the Embassy to thank Ambassador Lose for a mutual beneficial collaboration and to have a dialogue about the time that has passed and the time that will come. The American-Danish Business Council had the chance to ask Ambassador Gifford a few questions about his time as Ambassador and his opinion on the future for the U.S.-Danish business ties. When asked about what he will miss the most about Denmark, Ambassador Gifford emphasized the daily stories casually given by Danes on the streets of Denmark on how their personal ties to the U.S. are continually being strengthened, such as sending their children to universities in the U.S. and by traveling across the U.S. on Route 66.
Ambassador Gifford also appreciated the warm welcoming at the beginning of his tenure; “When I first came to Denmark, I had no idea of how to be an Ambassador. But everything was so relaxed and I learned a lot from the Danes, which made the transition extremely easy. Denmark has influenced a lot, I have enjoyed every collaboration. This is the end of a fantastic time”.
Ambassador Gifford stresses that one of the most vital tasks as ambassador is to connect people; “I have had some very valuable collaborations with the Danes, and I hope my successor will enjoy such collaborations just as much as I did. I do believe the government relations between the U.S. and Denmark will remain strong”.
When looking forward, the Ambassador addresses the importance of alliances, since alliances have the power of pushing the direction of global agendas; “No fundaments can be changed by individual parts. We need allies and we need to lean on allies”. According to Ambassador Gifford, it is important to focus on bilateral trade issues, and he advices Danish companies to continuously look for opportunities in the U.S. The Ambassador states that “Danish brands are unique in the U.S. – for example in terms of food, design, and innovation. You must keep up the work for trade and investments between the U.S. and Denmark. A local strategy is vital and you got to meet with locals and relevant stakeholders”. The Ambassador is confident that Danish companies will remain successful at the U.S. market, and he solicits the Danish companies to take a leap of faith and seize the great opportunities in the U.S.
The American-Danish Business Council wishes to thank Ambassador Gifford for the hard work he has done to enhance trade and investments between the U.S. and Denmark. We are delighted to announce that Ambassador Gifford will be part of ADBC’s Honorary Advisory Board together with other prior U.S. Ambassadors to Denmark.
In November, Danish defense and maritime companies took the opportunity to showcase them self aboard the Danish Frigate, Peter Willemoes, on the occasion of the Frigate visiting the harbour of Baltimore. Nine Danish companies were represented and several of them invited guests and potential partners aboard the Frigate.
The Frigate had crossed the Atlantic Ocean to take part in a military exercise together with the carrier strike group, George H. W. Bush but had made time in the program to visit Baltimore prior to the exercise commenced. During the visit, a conference was held by U.S. Navy Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) focusing on modular and flexible shipbuilding concepts based on the Danish Defense and maritime industry’s unique experience in providing innovative and highly capable solutions. With low acquisition, operational, and maintenance costs and with high rates of availability, the ships, build by the Danish Defense and maritime industry, offer potent and versatile combat power to a very compatible price.
The Danish modular concepts for shipbuilding have proven to be of great interest in the U.S., which was emphasized as the House Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, visited the Frigate together with Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson. Prior this year, Chairman Thornberry suggested modular and flexible concepts for shipbuilding to be integrated with the U.S. acquisition program in order to increase efficiency and evolve the program’s current solutions.
Among others, representatives from Denmark included the then Danish Minster for Business and Growth, Troels Lund Poulsen, the Danish Chief of Naval Staff, Frank Trojahn, and the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Lars Gert Lose.
The visit by the Frigate lasted from November 16 – November 19 2016 and included several company meetings, a reception, and the Annual Meeting of American-Danish Business Council. During the visit, more than 1,500 people took advantage of the opportunity to get a tour around the Frigate and learn more about the Danish Defense and maritime industry’s shipbuilding concepts.
In the Huffington Post, the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Lars Gert Lose, explains his view upon how Denmark and other small nations can help the rest of the world to deliver on the climate promises made in Paris last year.
“Denmark was a first mover in deploying wind energy. And for decades we have worked to collaborate with other countries to share the know-how and get the technology to market. In the US, the impact has been particularly powerful and wind farms are now cheaper to build than coal, nuclear and most gas plants. In other words, technology that was originally developed in Denmark has been improved by American ingenuity and competition in the market.”