The High North will be an area of particular strategic importance for Norway for many years to come. This focus on the High North is recognized as one of the top priorities of the Norwegian government's foreign policy. An important part of this policy is the establishment of dialogues on the High North with key western countries. Dialogues have been initiated with Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States and Finland. Also, bilateral contacts and co-operation with Russia have been expanded.
Norway and Canada share a common interest with regard to the management of natural resources and are concerned with the environmental challenges in the North. Both countries work through the Arctic Council to promote key interests like sustainable development and access to energy. Recognizing the North as vulnerable and sensitive to climate change, it is necessary to focus on environmental management.
On May 10-11, 2006 Canada hosted a successful first Bilateral Northern Dialogue, including a symposium and bilateral consultations. The two themes for this symposium were Arctic Climate Change and Resource Management with a particular focus on oil and gas. This will be an ongoing dialogue, meant to identify new opportunities to strenghten the cooperation between Canada and Norway on issues pertaining to the High North. In the future, the bilateral Northern Dialogue will be held every year in Canada or in Norway.