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Towards closer arctic marine cooperation

9/13/17, 4:00 PM

The Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation meets in Helsinki 14-15 September 2017. Discussion will focus on the promotion of marine cooperation and proposals for organising the cooperation.

The Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation was established for a fixed term under the US chairmanship, in 2015. The Arctic Council Ministerial meeting extended the fixed term in May for the chairmanship of Finland.

Gaps in arctic cooperation have been mapped

The meeting that will be held in Helsinki at the end of the week was preceded by a discussion in the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in May and the report of the Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation that mapped the gaps related to significant operations and cooperation and reviewed the principles of strengthening cooperation. One of the most difficult questions has been the possible extension of cooperation beyond the jurisdiction of the states, to the so-called high-seas areas. Another challenge that the Arctic Council faces is the growing number of observer states.

“Mapping the so-called gaps in arctic cooperation was an important first step during the US chairmanship of the Arctic Council that allows us to cooperate more efficiently and extensively in order to promote the well-being of the entire Arctic region,” emphasises Anita Mäkinen from Trafi who will chair the meeting.

“In Helsinki, we will continue discussion on the development needs of Arctic cooperation. It is also relevant to assess if a separate organisational body of the Arctic Council is needed for the strengthening of cooperation or if we can streamline the operation of the current bodies of the Arctic Council,” Mäkinen continues.

Finland's two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council began in May. The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum, established in 1996, that aims to promote cooperation among the Arctic States in various ways. In addition to Finland and the other Nordic countries, members of the Arctic Council include Canada, United States and Russia.

Further information:
Report to Ministers of the Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation (TFAMC)
Anita Mäkinen, Chief Adviser, tel. 040 162 4592, anita.makinen (at) trafi.fi, on Twitter @AnitaMakinen