U.S. participation in Arctic Council lacks coordination, follow-through: report

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The Government Accountability Office has issued a report about U.S. participation in the Arctic Council. (iStock)
The Government Accountability Office has issued a report about U.S. participation in the Arctic Council. (iStock)
A report released Monday from the Government Accountability Office suggests U.S. participation in the Arctic Council lacks coordination and follow-through.

The U.S. and other member nations in the Council have agreed to dozens of recommendations over the years. They address, among other things, opportunities and challenges that arise as ice retreats from the region.

The GAO found the State Department, which leads the U.S. team, lacks a joint strategy for acting on these recommendations, leaving federal partner agencies unsure how to prioritize the work.

Listen to the report by Liz Ruskin from the Alaska Public Radio Network:

The GAO says there’s also no system for measuring outcomes.

The State Department notes the GAO report only addresses the many recommendations of the Council.

The report does not cover the more formal commitments the U.S. makes in international agreements. The State Department announced in February it will boost its Arctic representation with a special representative for the region.

Related stories from around the Arctic:

Canada: Canada boycotts Moscow Arctic Council meeting over Ukraine, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Ex-President Ahtisaari calls on Finland to join NATO with Sweden, Yle News

Greenland:  Greenland urged to work with Arctic Council, CBC News

Norway:   Permanent Arctic Council Secretariat opens in Tromso, strengthening Norway’s position in Arctic, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Feature Interview: Sweden wraps up Arctic Council, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Blog – Russia puts countries on edge in the Arctic, Cryopolitics

United States: With Arctic Council chairmanship looming for US, Alaska irons out far north policy, Alaska Dispatch

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