Senator Recommends Secretary of State Clinton Advance Our “Arctic Nation” Status
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski is encouraging U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to designate a senior political official as the nation’s “Ambassador to the Arctic” and to seize the present opportunity to engage more fully with the Arctic community.
After a successful trip to the 10th Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians in Akureyri, Iceland in early September, Senator Murkowski came away convinced of the acute need to “make the Arctic more relevant to the rest of the world” and that the United States must achieve a higher level of commitment to Arctic issues, particularly with the U.S. taking over as Chair of the Arctic Council in 2015.
In a letter (attached) to the Secretary of State, Senator Murkowski shared the highlights of the conference – underscoring the opportunity for the country if we act on her suggestions, including:
•A need for a stronger Arctic Council in order for the Council to be viewed by non-Arctic parties as the primary forum for Arctic cooperation.
•Greater engagement and participation by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic in the Council’s work.
•Engagement by non-Arctic nations like Singapore, Japan, China and South Korea, all seeking to participate in discussions about the region.