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Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:31

Reykjavik Traditional Knowledge Workshop

  Last week’s workshop for Permanent Participants resulted in a draft policy paper outlining guiding principles for integrating Traditional Knowledge into the work of the Arctic Council. Backed by the government of Iceland, the workshop took place in the capital of the Arctic State, in the Idno building, a historical downtown restaurant turned conference and cultural center.
  The government of Iceland and the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council will host a workshop on traditional knowledge on 17-19 February, 2014. The venue of the workshop will be the historical Idno building in downtown Reykjavik. Around 30 representatives of the Permanent Participants and the Working Groups of the Arctic Council will take part in event. The workshop is part of a project going on under the auspices of the SDWG and the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council to promote traditional and local knowledge in the work of the Arctic Council. The Canadian and Icelandic governments as well as the Nordic Council of Ministers support the workshop. As the workshop specifically focuses on indigenous traditional knowledge, it has been found that the 6 Permanent Participant organizations, who represent Arctic indigenous peoples in the Arctic Council, have a principal role to play in the project and must lead the initial discussion on this issue.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:31

Boom or bust in the Arctic

The Arctic is booming. Resource development, shipping and tourism each year attract billions of dollars worth of investments to the region. However, while Norway, Canada and Russia benefit hugely from this development, Greenland and Denmark is lagging behind in the race for investments. According to experts, part of the reason for this is low world market prices on the kind of natural resources that Greenland has to offer. Another important reason lies precisely in the political relation between Denmark and Greenland. According to London-based consultancy firm Polariis, there is a huge risk the development of Greenland will stagnate as Chinese and American investors hesitate while monitoring the political situation and the political debates going on in Greenland and Denmark concerning greater independence of the former Arctic colony.
Monday, 20 January 2014 10:13

Freedom in our lifetime?

Last year, shortly after being appointed Premier of Greenland, Aleqa Hammond declared she wanted to die a free woman. A recent brief issued by the Royal Danish Defense Academy now takes a look at her chances of fulfilling that ambition of her lifetime. The Defense Academy brief focuses on the challenges faced by Greenland on its journey to possible statehood, and offers an answer to the question of whether it will be possible for Greenland to become an independent sovereign nation in its own right.
Monday, 13 January 2014 12:33

Premier of Greenland’s New Year Reception

  Aleqa Hammond, the Premier of Greenland, hosted the Annual New Year’s Reception at the Greenland Representation in Copenhagen on Thursday last week. The event gathered hundreds of dignitaries and representatives of the political, cultural and scientific spheres from Greenland as well as the other parts of the Kingdom of Denmark.
  is looking for an Executive Secretary Initial Location: Copenhagen, Denmark with eventual relocation to Tromsø, Norway The Arctic Council (AC) is an international forum that promotes co-operation on environmental protection and sustainable development issues in the Arctic. The Council is a unique body because it provides for the full participation of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. Known as Permanent Participants, representatives of six Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations work side by side with the eight Arctic Member Countries. The Council’s mandate includes incorporating the traditional and cultural needs, values, rights and practices of Arctic Indigenous Peoples in its programmes and policies. The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat was established to facilitate and assist the participation of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Council.
Friday, 29 November 2013 16:31

WTO and the Inuit exception

Last Monday, 25 November, the World Trade Organization, issued a report saying EU’s ban on seal skin products is not consistent with international trade agreements and recommending EU bring measures under its seal regime into conformity with its obligations. Following complaints from Canada and Norway, WTO, in 2011 established a panel tasked with looking into the claims of the two countries, i.e., that the ban discriminated against their access to the European market, violating various paragraphs in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). According to the findings of the WTO panel, the seal ban does indeed discriminate against Canada and Norway. However the panel report in particular targets the way the ban has been implemented, excepting certain forms of hunting, among them hunting by Inuit and other indigenous communities in the Arctic.
Friday, 22 November 2013 16:52

Greenland - the 51st state?

”Welcome to the 51st state of the United States.” Thus US Secretary of State Colin Powell greeted his Danish colleague, Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller, when the two met in May 2008 in the South Greenland village of Igaliku, home town of Josef Motzfeldt who hosted the meeting in capacity of member of the Greenland Government for Foreign affairs. Former Foreign Minister Moeller related the incident when he spoke on the second day of the ICC organized Arctic Peoples Conference, taking place in the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen on 21 and 22 November.
Friday, 22 November 2013 11:33

40 years of Arctic indigenous cooperation

  The Arctic Peoples’ Conference organized by the Inuit Circumpolar Council celebrating 40 years of indigenous cooperation took off yesterday with opening speeches by ICC Chair Aqqaluk Lynge and by two of his fellows, President of RAIPON Grigoriy Ledkov and President of Saami Council Aile Javo, as well as by emeritus professor Robert Petersen. Hosted by Greenlandic member of the Danish Parliament Sara Olsvig, the conference took place in the Landstingssalen of the Christiansborg Castle, i.e. the exact venue of the first meeting of Arctic indigenous peoples in 1973. Mssrs. Lynge and Petersen, two of the few persons present at today’s celebratory conference who had also witnessed first-hand the meeting 40 years ago, took turns at harking back to that epochal event and the subsequent developments it was to foreshadow.
  Seeks an Executive Secretary Initial Location: Copenhagen, Denmark with eventual relocation to Tromsø, Norway The Arctic Council (AC) is an international forum that promotes co-operation on environmental protection and sustainable development issues in the Arctic. The Council is a unique body because it provides for the full participation of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. Known as Permanent Participants, representatives of six Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations work side by side with the eight Arctic Member Countries. The Council’s mandate includes incorporating the traditional and cultural needs, values, rights and practices of Arctic Indigenous Peoples in its programmes and policies. The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat was established to facilitate and assist the participation of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Council.
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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
Fram Centre, Postboks 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway