The news is a very positive step in the right direction, not least in regards to the continuation of the highly important Climate Change research as well as Social Development and Indigenous Issues, and encouraging for Person-to-Person collaboration in Arctic science and culture.
The eight Arctic countries have all agreed on new guidelines that allow the Arctic Council's working groups, where the council's main work is carried out, to resume their activities based on a written procedure of communication. "This is an important breakthrough," says Morten Høglund, who leads the council under Norway's chairship in an interview with the High North News.
The eight Arctic states – Norway, Canada, the US, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Russia – agree on a critical first step forward for the Arctic Council, adopting new guidelines allowing the working groups and the expert group to resume their activities. The agreement has been reached in consultation with the six indigenous organizations that are permanent participants of the council.
"We are pleased that Russia and the other Arctic countries wish to resume the Arctic Council's work. This is the best basis for movement," an encouraged Morten Høglund says to High North News.
"We have not made any overall decision on what is to be cooperated on or how extensive the cooperation will be. Getting back to the collaboration we had before the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 will require a lot of time, of course. But we aim to resume large parts of our work in several important fields, such as climate, and start new projects."
The resuming of activity of the Arctic Council does not apply to meetings at a political level or SAO meetings. As Morten Høglund stated to the High North News, " The horizon is longer when it comes to these other two levels."
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