The 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council took place the 15th of May in Kiruna, northern Sweden.
The forward-looking statement entitled ‘Vision for the Arctic’ was adopted at the meeting. The document outlines the Arctic states’ and indigenous Permanent Participants’ joint vision for the development of the region.
Arctic Council States also signed a new, legally-binding Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic which will substantially improve procedures for combatting oil spills in the Arctic.
A number of important reports were presented to the Ministers at the meeting. During the meeting, ministers also signed the Kiruna Declaration, which sets out the work of the Council during the Canadian Chairmanship (2013-15).
“Canada is honoured to assume the Chairmanship of the Council,” said Minister Leona Aglukkaq, the first Inuk to helm Arctic Council. “The theme for Canada’s Chairmanship is Development for the People of the North.”
During the Canadian Chairmanship, the Arctic Council program will include the establishment of a Circumpolar Business Forum to provide new opportunities for business to engage with the Council; continued work on oil pollution prevention; and action to address short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane.