Oslo, 29 March 2023 (TDI): Norway is all set to take over the chairship of the Arctic Council from Russia on 11 May. It will assume the Chair for the years 2023-2025. All the official meetings of the Council were halted due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
The Norwegian Mister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt stated in this regard that Norway will ensure the Arctic Council remains the leading international forum addressing Arctic issues.
Climate change is a much pressing issue in the Arctic as compared to other parts of the world. Norwegian government considers it a high priority. The Arctic Council will work effectively to combat this global challenge.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs further said that Council will also be reflecting on the current political reality of the region.
Norway will ensure the smooth and efficacious role of the forum to address the most critical issue of cross-border challenges, the need for access to data on climate change.
It will also ensure sustainable management of resources that adequately balance the Arctic’s natural surroundings, animal life, and the people living in the Arctic. The Norwegian Chairship envisages a vibrant and sustainable Arctic region.
The country will continue to pursue a long-term approach in four priority areas such as the ocean, climate and environment, sustainable economic development, and people in the north.
The four priority themes indicate Norwegian priorities for the Arctic along with Norway’s own Arctic policy premised on knowledge and the principles of responsible and sustainable management.
Norway’s chairship as well envisions promoting stability and constructive cooperation. It will work to enhance the well-being of people living in the region. Arctic youth and indigenous people will be the key priority of all policies.
Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide emphasized climate change as a key priority. It poses a greater threat to Arctic biodiversity and ecosystem both on land and in the ocean.
Lastly, under the Norwegian Chairship of the Arctic council, meticulous priority will be given to this area. With collective efforts, the Council will reduce black carbon emissions by 2025.
As a maritime nation, Norway will also continue to cooperate on integrated, ecosystem-based ocean management.