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Arctic Yearbook 2012
Commentary: A Voice from the Arctic
indigenous peoples, and their participation is welcomed in the activities and research of its working
groups and subsidiary bodies.
The indigenous peoples appreciate the support offered by Observers of the Arctic Council and
recognize that cooperation and collaboration not only advances their work but their indigenous
agenda as well. However, as new applications have been submitted, the Permanent Participants’
unwavering message is that prospective Observers clearly demonstrate how their presence will
enhance the role and increase the participation of the Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council.
The Permanent Participants are very cautious about some applications, as it is not enough to say that
Observers will be sensitive to the needs and rights of the indigenous peoples; they also need to show
their track record. New Observers have to accept the Arctic Council’s governance structure, as this
is the only international forum that guarantees that the voice of the Arctic People gets heard.