Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eyeing resources, India, China, Brazil, Japan, other countries want a voice on Arctic Council

Terra Daily via SPX: With an eye on rapid changes in the resource-rich Arctic, countries like China, India and Brazil, which have no Arctic territories, are nonetheless knocking on the door of the increasingly influential Arctic Council looking for admission as permanent observers.

The issue has divided existing members, with Russia and Canada most strongly opposed. It is among the major questions with which Canada will have to grapple as it prepares to chair the Council next year.

It will also feature prominently on the agenda of a two-day meeting on the future of the Arctic Council, January 17-18 in Toronto: The 2nd annual Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Conference, which has attracted the participation of several experts, national ambassadors and indigenous leaders - more than 100 participants from 15 nations in all.

Full members of the Arctic Council are Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark (Greenland) - the eight countries with Arctic territory. Six northern indigenous groups - the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Arctic Athabaska Council, Gwich'in Council International, Sami Council, Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and Aleut International Association - wield strong influence as permanent participants....

"I don't care if you are a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine -- get off my lawn." U. S. Navy photo by Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs. (RELEASED)

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