The United States and Greenland

Sunset over Nuuk
Sunset over Nuuk

The United States and Greenland continue to expand their dynamic partnership, strengthening relations well beyond a traditional focus on security policy. In August 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller and Home Rule Deputy Premier Josef Motzfeldt met in Igaliku, Greenland to sign an update to the 1951 Defense of Greenland Agreement and two additional political declarations that have broadened and deepened cooperation between the United States and Greenland. Specifically, the Igaliku Agreements created the Joint Committee, which served as an expanded forum to promote cooperation between the United States, Denmark and Greenland across a diverse range of policy areas, including environment, science, health, technology, trade, tourism, education, and culture.

The Secretary of State announced May 2019 the intent to re-establish a permanent Department of State presence in Greenland.  An integral part of that objective was the creation of a new diplomatic position for Greenlandic affairs.  The Greenlandic Affairs Officer divides his time equally between Copenhagen and Greenland, and has a mandate to find opportunities to broaden and deepen the relationship between the United States and Greenland.  Primary areas of focus are expanding commercial and investment ties as Greenland seeks to diversify its economy in sectors such as tourism and mining.  The United States also looks to expand partnerships in education and scientific research.  Informing the Greenlandic population, through public diplomacy efforts, of U.S. interests is also a  key objective.  You can follow such efforts on Instagram @uskalaallitnunaanni.

The relationship between the United States and Greenland continues to expand, improve and become much more versatile. U.S. activities in Greenland include official visits, people-to-people exchanges, expert consultations, cooperation on mineral resources, environment, science, energy, technology, and health concerns, security support, and diplomatic and consular visits.