Permanent Participants and the Arctic Council process

Lead Author Evon, Peter
Institution Contact Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat Fram Centre Postboks 6606 Langnes NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.5 Geopolitics and Security of the Arctic
Datetime Fri, Sep 16, 2016 10:50 AM - 10:55 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The Arctic may belong to 8 Arctic states, but at the same time, the intergovernmental cooperation between those 8 states, the Arctic Council, is distinguished by a certain recognition: that there are peoples that are indigenous to the Arctic region. Peoples whose homelands have been in the Arctic for longer than anyone can remember.

The participation of the indigenous peoples is one of the main reasons behind the success of the Arctic Council. As Permanent Participants to the Arctic Council, they offer valuable contributions as the principal trustees and protectors of their Arctic heritage.

Traditional knowledge has been an important element in preparing the assessments put forward for consideration to the Arctic Council. Furthermore, the indigenous peoples have served as an essential link in communicating the evolution of the Arctic to the rest of the world.

How the Arctic Council has changed in the last twenty years and what was the role of Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council's strengthening process? Does the Arctic Council really managed to successfully change the course things in the Arctic and what more is needed to be able to have Permanent Participants actually designing policy along with states?

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) has a Vice-President for Indigenous Issues, and through its mandate has developed a strong link with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. At a meeting in Stockholm in March 2012 UArctic and the Permanent Participants signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further improve the cooperation. It was recommended by the Arctic Council stakeholders that there should be more opportunities and abilities of using UArctic, through its members, to assist the Permanent Participants in their important role and mission.
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