Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Arctic Council: A Discussion Paper.

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Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC)
/.../ "The Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), one of six “permanent participants” to the Arctic Council, prepared this short discussion paper to achieve three objectives: 1. to encourage Norway to carry through with its intention to set up a process to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council; 2. to signal to Council members the commitment of AAC to participate in the process envisaged by Norway; and 3. to propose a structure and agenda for the process Norway envisages. When established as a “high level forum” by the eight Arctic states in 1996, the Arctic Council was variously described as innovative, precedent setting, and a potential model for other regions. Global interest in the Arctic is growing. Energy and mineral development, pollution, climate change, transportation and other issues in the Arctic are attracting increased attention internationally, and this process continues. In February 2003 the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme characterized the Arctic as the globe’s barometer or early warning of environmental change. The International Polar Year is likely to direct and focus political as well as scientific attention on the circumpolar region. Decisions made in non-Arctic states and by global institutions have a growing influence on the well being of Athabaskans who continue to adjust to a rapidly changing world." /.../