Switzerland has appointed Marcel Schütz to the position of Honorary Consul in Longyearbyen.
According to Svalbardposten, Switzerland is thus the only country to have a honorary consul in Longyearbyen, as Russia’s consulate general is located in Barentsburg. Swizz Ambassador to Norway Bernard Jaggy was in Longyearbyen to confer the formal consul diploma on Schütz.
According to the paper, the Ambassador pointed out that Swizz scientists and expeditions have a long-standing tradition in Svalbard. Both Switzerland and Svalbard have glaciers melting at an alarming pace.
Switzerland has 100 research projects about glacial melting, and Svalbard has the highest amount of Swizz scientists outside Switzerland. According to the Ambassador, the country needs someone who can be a point of contact for them, for tourists, and a link to the embassy in Oslo.
The Swizz government will also be in touch with the local authorities in Svalbard through the new consul. Marcel Schütz has lived in Svalbard since 2010 and currently operates the company Spitzbergen Reisen.
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.