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Arctic Yearbook 2012
Similarities: Research and knowledge, meaning science, technology and monitoring, and
international cooperation on research (and monitoring), is either explicitly mentioned as a
priority, or an objective, by all of the Arctic strategies.
Differences: Research is explicitly highlighted as a priority in the Iceland report and the US
State Policy, and implicitly integrated in the Finnish and Swedish strategies. The strategy of
the Kingdom of Denmark and that of Norway emphasize knowledge on climate change and
its impacts.
International Cooperation
International cooperation per se as well as several international organizations for
cooperation are explicitly mentioned in all of the Arctic strategies. When it comes to
prioritizing which organizations to connect and cooperate with, there are inconsistencies
between the strategies: all of them explicitly mention the Arctic Council and cooperation
within the Council; the strategies of Canada, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and the USA
emphasize the Council as an important or major venue for multilateral cooperation and
policy dialogue. The Kingdom of Denmark’s Strategy would like to strengthen cooperation
within the Council, though it emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the ‘Arctic
5’ as well as that of NATO (Kingdom of Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011: 49-55).
By contrast, Iceland states that the AC member states “must be prevented from joining
forces to exclude other Member States from important decisions”, which primarily refers to
the Ilulissat and Chelsea ministerial meetings of the ‘Arctic 5’ (Althingi, 2011: 6).
The intergovernmental and international organizations mentioned in most of the strategies
include the United Nations, UNCLOS and the IMO. As regional organizations or bodies,
the EU Northern Dimension as well as and the BEAC are mentioned in most of the
strategies. When it comes to bilateral cooperation, other Arctic states are usually mentioned
as close partners. For example, in the case of Finland, Norway and Russia are mentioned,
and in the case of Norway, cooperation with Russia and “good neighbourly relations with
Russia” and the Russians are emphasized (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009: 54-
What is a bit surprising here, is a lack of global perspective, particularly so in a time and
world of globalization, or when considering that climate change is very much a global