US Arctic Council Agenda to Focus on Ocean Security, Climate Change - Kerry

John Kerry said that the US chairmanship of the Arctic Council will focus on ocean safety, climate change, and improving living conditions for the Arctic communities.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US chairmanship of the Arctic Council will focus on ocean safety, climate change, and improving living conditions for the Arctic communities, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council.

“The US chairmanship will focus on three interconnected themes. First, addressing the impacts of climate change; second, promoting ocean safety, security, and stewardship; and third, improving economic and living conditions for Arctic communities,” Kerry stated on Friday.

The United States took over the rotating Arctic Council chairmanship from Canada on Friday. Secretary Kerry will serve as the chairman of the intergovernmental Arctic Council forum.

The theme of the US two-year Arctic Council chairmanship will be “One Arctic,” Kerry announced. He continued that the theme embodies the belief that “the entire world shares the responsibility to protect, to respect, to nurture and promote the region.”

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The United States intends to use its chairmanship to raise international awareness of the links between the Arctic and the rest of the world, particularly the region’s impact on the global climate system, Kerry noted.

The Arctic Council is comprised of the eight Arctic nations, the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark. Six international organizations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status. There are currently twelve non-Arctic observer nations.

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