Witnessing the Dawn of a New Era: Arctic Frontiers 2103, the Conclusion of Geopolitics in the High North, and a New Arctic Council Secretariat

Carl Bildt, Espen Barth Eide, Leona Aglukkaq, and Magnús Jóhannesson hold a the press conference following the signing of the host country agreement on the new Secretariat in Tromso. Photo: Arctic Council

The 2013 Arctic Frontiers conference saw the official conclusion of the Geopolitics in the High North project at the same time as it witnessed the birth of the new Arctic Council Secretariat to be based in Tromsø. Arctic Forum Foundation was on the scene for both events. Secretary General of the Arctic Forum Foundation, SteffenWeber, attended the signing ceremony for the Secretariat, and spoke with a number of Arctic Council Permanent Participants, members of the Indigenous community, and various experts on the subject of deeper cooperation between them and Arctic Forum Foundation as the Council surges forward under its new Canadian leadership (officially taken over at the Arctic Council Ministerial in Kiruna). Arctic Forum Foundation’s cooperation with the Geopolitics in the High North project has been a valued one, and we look forward to continuing a fruitful dialogue with the project’s members as they embark on new Arctic geopolitics-related endeavors.

Arctic Forum Foundation Fellows Egill Thor Nielsson and Stephen Perry were also in Tromsø for the conference. Egill participated in the Emerging Leaders Program, and delivered a presentation to a very receptive audience on China’s Arctic research and its wider implications. As the question of bringing on China as a Permanent Observer to the Arctic Council was still looming heavily in the air before the events in Kiruna, this topic took center stage for a healthy part of the political policy section of the conference.

Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affaires and Fisheries, made a keynote speech at Arctic Frontiers effectively outlining the EU perspective. See details of her speech here.


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