Already in April 2011 the university board decided that the two foreign ministers were to be appointed Honorary Doctors after having signed the treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean in Murmansk, thus ending nearly 40 years of negotiations. “Lavrov and Støre is a symbol of peaceful cooperation” Rector of the University of Tromsø Jarle Aarbakk commented when the appointment was announced.
Only now, two years later, Jonas Gahr Støre – now Minister of Health and Care Services, had the opportunity to come to Tromsø to receive his diploma.
“It is a bit peculiar that after becoming Minister of Health it is my efforts as Minister of Foreign Affairs that makes me a doctor”, Støre said upon receiving the diploma. “For me, the University of Tromsø will always be in center of my own perception of the High North Policy”, he added.
Støre has actively used expertise from the University of Tromsø (UiT) when developing Norway’s strategies for the High North. The minister visited Tromsø only two days after the signing of the delimitation agreement.
Sergey Lavrov did not have the opportunity to come to Tromsø, so Russia’s Ambassador to Norway Vyacheslav Pavlovsly received the diploma on his behalf, the university’s web site reads.
Sergey Levrov is the second Russian to be appointed Honorary Doctor at UiT. The first was Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, in 1998.