News & Activities

Plotting the way for the Arctic Council

The Arctic Council must be strengthened, legally binding agreements must be written and the people must be involved in governing the Arctic. These are some of the messages from the Conference of the Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region to the Arctic governments.

“During the conference in Akureyri we, members of the parliaments in all the Arctic countries, agreed on a final statement addressing how we envision governance, environmental issues, education and human development in the Arctic in the years to come", says Morten Høglund (FrP), Chair of the Arctic Parliamentary Committee.

Agreement between the parliaments on such a final declaration is crucial, according to Høglund, when the parliamentarians present proposals and discuss with the Arctic Council. The statement is directed to the Arctic governments, the Arctic Council and the institutions of the European Union.

One of the points in the final statement is that the Arctic parliamentarians want to strengthen the Arctic Council with annual ministerial meetings and a permanent secretariat.

"We want the Arctic Council to become an even more effective and robust international organisation, and for the Council to be able to enter into binding legal agreements," says Morten Høglund.

Høglund underlines that the parliamentarians want to see agreements in more areas than exist today. The Arctic governments have already signed an agreement on search and rescue, and negotiations are underway for an agreement on oil spills. However, the parliamentarians envisage future agreements in several areas, such as for example, research, education and tourism.

One thing that spreads through the whole final statement is the importance of involving the Arctic population in the governance and development of the Arctic.

Friday 14 Sep 2012