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Friday, 31 May 2013 14:29

Permanent Forum fatigue

“Attendance has dropped and there is fatigue in the air,” the representative of Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact told the Expert members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues yesterday, the penultimate day of the 12th annual session of the Permanent Forum. The Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact representative has participated in the Forum’s annual sessions since 2002, and it is her impression, she said, the international community’s attention to indigenous peoples appears to be waning. She said that for the first three to five years, there had been much enthusiasm among indigenous peoples, Member States and United Nations entities, and many recommendations had been made. Monitoring, however, had been insufficient.
Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:51

New US Arctic Strategy?

  “We in the lower forty-eight and Hawaii join Alaska’s residents in recognizing one simple truth that the Arctic is an amazing place.” In this – characteristically informal and vivid – way, US President Obama introduces the nation’s new Arctic strategy. The President then continues: “The Arctic is one of our planet’s last great frontiers. Our pioneering spirit is naturally drawn to this region, for the economic opportunities it presents and in recognition of the need to protect and conserve this unique, valuable, and changing environment.”
Thursday, 23 May 2013 20:54

Engendering the North

Something rarely seen in conjunction with Arctic Council meetings, a panel discussion on the subject of gender, took place as a side event to the recent Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden. The panel discussion “Challenges in the Arctic – A Gender Perspective” was part of an Open Seminar organized by the Arctic Council on Tuesday last week, the day before the Ministerial meeting itself. The last part, to be more precise. Gender issues, like indigenous and other subaltern issues, typically get scheduled late when people are ready to call it a day and getting mentally set for the evening reception. This was also the case in Kiruna when a motivated audience braved the hour, barely outnumbering the panel.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 15:36

Indigenous statements in Kiruna

In his statement at yesterday's Arctic Council Kiruna Ministerial meeting, the representative and earlier 1st Vice-President of the Russian Association of Indigeous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) spoke on behalf of 40 indigenous peoples in Russia. Among other things, he pleaded for the establishment of joint international regime under the auspices of the Arctic Council for managing the exploitation of the natural resources of the circumpolar region in ways that maintain the ecological balance and respect the the right of indigenous peoples to traditional nature use, preservation of identity and way of life.
  "The fog has lifted in every sense," Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs said in his opening speech to his fellow Ministers of the 7 other Arctic states, when they met in Kiruna, Sweden, today for the biennial Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. Chairs and Presidents of the Permanent Participants as well as heads of autonomous entities within the Arctic countries joined the Ministers around the table, and – in the back of the room - delegates of the Observers and other stakeholder in the Council made the total number of meeting participants amount to about 200.
Friday, 05 April 2013 11:50

Oil mishaps may have a positive impact

Shell’s mishaps in the Arctic may turn out to be a good thing for the environment. According to commentators, it may make other companies revise, if they really are ready for the harsh Arctic environment and give legislators a better idea, on what it takes to drill in the Arctic safely.
  The Senior Arctic Officials will meet in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st of March next week. Permanent Participants, Working Group members and Observers, too, will attend the meeting. Media will have access to the opening of the meeting and to a press conference to be held immediately after the closing of the meeting. The meeting, no doubt, will open on a most uplifting note with the Arctic Council welcoming back RAIPON at the table. RAIPON has had its activities as a public organization under Russian law suspended since 1 November last year, until the Russian Ministry of Justice finally decided, last Wednesday, to re-install the organization in its full rights and thus allow it to again fulfill its international obligations, among them as a Permanent Participant in the Arctic Council.
Friday, 15 March 2013 09:38

RAIPON vs Minjust: case closed

    The Russian Ministry of Justice has approved the amended charter of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON). The Ministry of Justice declared that RAIPON’s founding charter did not comply with Russian legislation and therefore suspended its activities by 1 November last year and until 20 April this year. On 24 January, RAIPON held an extraordinary congress with the sole purpose of amending its charter to make it comply with the law. The amended charter was expeditedly submitted to the Justice Ministry that has now finally announced it has accepted to register the amended charter.
Friday, 01 March 2013 15:13

The spirit of Rovaniemi

A conference on ”Arctic cities, global processes and local realities” has been called by the City of Rovaniemi, the Arctic Centre and the University of Lapland, Finland, to take place on 2-4 December, 2013. The conference that will be led scientifically by Professor Timo Koivurova is being described as the first in a series of conferences under the common label ”Spirit of Rovaniemi Process.” The goal of the conference is to present the latest research and scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Scientific in orientation, it aims to bring science and knowledge into action by inviting top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussions with the leaders of the Arctic Cities.
Monday, 25 February 2013 12:22

Yakutsk indigenous meeting

  Representatives of indigenous associations in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) recently hosted a meeting among themselves and representatives of Arctic Council Permanent Participants. The meeting took place on 14 February in the House of the People of the North in Yakutsk, the capital of the republic.
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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
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