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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
phenomenon, and the strategic role of the Arctic region is growing within world politics and
the globalized world economy. Most of the strategies require international/global action to
respond to climate change, however the Kingdom of Denmark’s Strategy and that of
Finland take into consideration and discuss a world-wide, global perspective in more general
terms: The Kingdom’s Strategy states that the vast changes in the Arctic are one of the most
significant global issues, such as the global rise in sea levels, refers to the global community
(Kingdom of Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011: 9-11), and asks “Global solutions
to global challenges” in one sub-title (see ibid: 49-51). Consequently, it is necessary to
strengthen the Realm’s status as a “global player in the Arctic” (ibid: 11). The Finnish
strategy describes the Arctic as having new potential that stresses its strategic importance and
global significance, and that of the Arctic climate “for the global climate” (Prime Minister’s
Office, 2010: 9-10 and 14). The Strategy also names the European Union as a “global Arctic
player” (ibid: 45-47).
Similarities: International cooperation per se as well as several international organizations for
cooperation is explicitly mentioned in all the Arctic strategies. The AC is also mentioned by
all of them, and emphasized as a major venue for international cooperation in the Arctic by
most of them.
Differences: Unlike the other strategies, the Kingdom of Denmark’s Strategy and that of
Finland adopt a world-wide and global perspective.
The Arctic states are still the most important, though not any more the only, actors in the
Arctic region and Northern (geo)politics, not least due to the fact that the entire region is
legally and politically divided by the national borders of these states. The Arctic of the 21
century is stable and peaceful without armed conflicts or the likelihood thereof, and this
state of affairs depends to a great deal on the Arctic states and their policies, and the criteria
by which they make their decisions. This is supported and promoted by the existing
institutional structures for international and regional cooperation: first, the AC, the major
forum for both intergovernmental and other cross-border cooperation on Arctic affairs,
which is much enriched by the knowledgeable contributions of its Permanent Participants
and other non-state actors. Second, there is UNCLOS with enough rules and procedure