Singapore, 5 April 2023 ((TDI): Special Envoy for Arctic Affairs of Singapore, Sam Tan, attended the Arctic Encounter Symposium 2023 in Anchorage, Alaska, from March 29 to March 31.
Over 800 people, including government officials, indigenous peoples from the Arctic, and members of business and academic groups, attended the Arctic Encounter Symposium 2023.
Both a panel talk named “Arctic Partners and Neighbors: Growing Partnerships In and Out of the Region” and a VIP armchair dialogue on “An Indo-Pacific Arctic: Emerging Regional Interests from Sub-Arctic Asia”.
Special Envoy Tan discussed Singapore’s interests in the Arctic and how Singapore has taken a leading role in Arctic-related actions over the past ten years in his remarks.
It is pertinent to note that Singapore is a low-lying coastal state that is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, rising temperatures, and Arctic ice sheet melting.
This furthers the need for Singapore to involve in Arctic developments as sea levels will increase as a result, posing an existential danger to Singapore’s physical survival.
At the same time, Singapore has conducted Arctic-related research, including the tracking of migratory Arctic birds that stop in Singapore during the Arctic winter season.
Additionally, Singapore frequently interacts with the Permanent Participants of the Emergency Preparedness, Prevention, and Response (EPPR) Working Group and has shared its expertise in managing oil spills with this group.
The Arctic Council is a crucial venue for research and activities in the Arctic region, and Special Envoy Tan noted that the Observer States would follow their lead from the Member States regarding whether to resume Arctic Council activities soon.
Despite this, Singapore will continue to support the work, purpose, and activities of the Arctic Council, including those carried out by the different Working Groups, so that the activities led by the Arctic Council can benefit the entire world.
The Special Envoy also met with several Arctic indigenous peoples’ representatives, US government officials engaged in Arctic affairs, as well as senior Arctic officials from other Arctic Council members and Observer States.