Foreign Ministry comment on the conclusion of Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship
At the meeting, the ministers signed the Iqaluit Declaration reaffirming the commitment to maintain peace, stability and constructive cooperation in the Arctic and plans to further strengthen international cooperation. With this goal in mind, the ministers approved a number of documents, including the Framework Plan for Cooperation on Prevention of Oil Pollution from Petroleum and Maritime Activities in the Marine Areas of the Arctic, the Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions, and the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan for the Period 2015-2025.
The ministers also established new working groups, including the Task Force on Telecommunications Infrastructure in the Arctic.
The meeting marked the conclusion of Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship and the beginning of the US Chairmanship.
Overall, the Arctic countries’ cooperation has been developing constructively, but Canada’s attempts to add unrelated matters to the Arctic Council’s agenda, to politicise discussions, and to make decisions on Arctic cooperation issues dependent on these unrelated matters have not promoted cooperation.
This was especially true during the preparations for and the holding of the Iqaluit meeting. However, neither the other Arctic countries nor the Organisation of Arctic Indigenous Peoples supported this policy from Canada and unanimously pointed to the inadmissibility of proposing a confrontational agenda for the Arctic forum.
April 27, 2015