TROMSØ: The difficult situation elsewhere in the world has not spread to the Arctic, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende says as he officially opens the new Arctic Economic Council Secretariat.
“Here in the Arctic, relations are based on cooperative approaches and the principles of international law and the Law of the Seas”, Brende told BarentsObserver as he raised the flag of the new secretariat in a ceremony in Tromso, northern Norway, on Tuesday.
“This is the way we want it to continue”, he underlined.
Together with Tara Sweeney, chair of the Arctic Economic Council, Brende this week opened the new Tromsø-based secretariat. ”This is a historical event and breakthrough” in Arctic affairs, he underlined.
‘New way of doing business’
The secretariat is a joint initiative of Arctic governments and business communities. It will support the Arctic Economic Council, a body established in March 2014.
”The time is right for the circumpolar business community to get a meaningful voice in Arctic developments”, Tara Sweeney said. ”This marks the start of a new way of doing business in the Arctic”, she added.
Sweeney, an American, is chairing the council for the first period.
The council, an independent organization, has three working groups, on Stewardship in the Arctic; Maritime Transportation; and Responsible Resource Development.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Feature Interview: The Arctic Council – What was accomplished and where we go from here, Eye on the Arctic
Denmark: Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News
Finland: Survey – More than half of reservists in Finland pro-Nato, Yle News
Norway: Peace and stability crucial for Arctic economy, Barents Observer
Russia: Majorities in Arctic nations favor cooperation with Russia, Barents Observer
Sweden: Arctic Council – From looking out to looking in, Blog by Mia Bennett, Cryopolitics
United States: Top Arctic official says cooperation key for Arctic Council under US, Blog by Mia Bennett