The gathering of the Arctic Circle fosters cooperation across the circumpolar world

Canada’s three regional prime ministers cemented their solidarity at the Arctic Circle Greenland Forum, which drew leaders from the circumpolar world and beyond from 27 August to 29 August.

“The north is often seen with such a small population base compared to southern Canadian cities or jurisdictions,” said Nunavut Premier PJ Akigok.

“But we are powerful in terms of our land, our people, our culture, our languages, and as such it is very important to have a unified voice.”

Akigok, along with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver and Northwest Territories Chief Carolyn Cochran, issued a joint statement on Monday, saying, “It is an honor to be invited to the Arctic Circle Forum and to attend personally to continue an event.” There was talk. Global dialogue about the answer.”

Foursome smiling in a suit on the background of the Arctic Circle.
Nunavut Premier PJ Akigok, Greenland’s Prime Minister Mte B Egede, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, and Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochran stand together at the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Nuuk, Greenland. (Arctic Circle Forum)

“The importance of international cooperation and partnership on a range of issues is clear,” the statement said. “From security to creating healthier lives and economic opportunities for our people, the dialogue that leads to a peaceful and more sustainable future must continue.”

For this, while in Nuuk, Akigok signed a memorandum of understanding with Greenland.

“There is an artificial boundary between our jurisdiction when the relationship and in fact our relations between our countries are so rich and … so deep,” Akigok said.

In a Greenland government news release, Greenland Prime Minister Mate B. The same message came from Agede.

“We live in a globalized world where the focus is on the Inuit and the Arctic. We have a lot in common and we already have good and solid friendships with Nunavut. This agreement will take us even closer to the future,” said Egede .

In a file photo of Múte B. Egede, 2021. (Ritzau ScanPix/Emil Helms/Reuters)

An update of a pre-2000 agreement, the memorandum goes further into building new links between Nunavut and its nearest neighbor, which could include possible cooperation on green energy and deep-sea ports.

The two governments also vowed to look at increased mobility between Nunavut and Greenland and explore the possibility of resuming direct flight connections – although previous attempts have not been successful.

“Despite being geographically close, moving between Nunavut and Greenland is increasingly challenging,” reads the agreement.

The agreement cites lack of flights, high costs and requirements for cross-border travel as barriers to travel.

“The governments of Nunavut and Greenland will try to secure increased mobility between Nunavut and Greenland, with minimal interference and regulation.”

The memorandum states that both Greenland and Nunavut have invested in new airports, which could facilitate new opportunities for commercial, cultural, institutional and other exchanges.

exchange ideas

Hundreds of people attended the Arctic Circle Greenland Forum, held at the Katuaq convention center in downtown Nuuk.

The Arctic Circle – founded in 2013 by Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, former President of Iceland, Kupik Kleist, Prime Minister of Greenland from 2009 and 2013, and other partners – aims at dialogue between political and business leaders, environmental experts, scientists, indigenous representatives and others. have to improve. international stakeholders.

As part of its mission, the Arctic Circle says it seeks to “support, complement and expand the reach of the work of the Arctic Council by facilitating a wider exchange of ideas and information.”

But since the invasion of Ukraine, the work of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental body established in 1996, has stalled, with seven of the eight member circumpolar countries indefinitely suspending all work related to the Council.

arctic security top of mind

During the gathering, regional security, a topic that is off limits at Arctic Council meetings, was on the radar.

According to Greenland’s Cermitsiak newspaper, the United States Secretary of State and leader of the delegation, Douglas Jones, told the meeting that the US, which recently appointed an ambassador-at-large for the Arctic, would be the guarantor of security in the Arctic. .

Topics of the meeting included discussions on minerals and mining, clean shipping, Inuit women in the age of climate change and better telecommunications.

“We need a roadmap, an infrastructure strategy to secure funding in the Arctic,” said Iqaluit’s Madeleine Redfern, chief operating officer of CanArctic Inuit Networks, who wants to see a subsea fiberoptic cable from Newfoundland to Iqaluit.

Akigok described his visit to Greenland as “eye-opening”.

“Given the vibrancy of the deep-sea port and fisheries economy, that was clearly something that really piqued my interest,” he said, “which are building incredible infrastructure and housing.”

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