WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Secretary Kerry is the first high-level US official to take the chairmanship of the Arctic Council since the group’s creation in 1996. The final Arctic Council ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 2017 before the US passes on the chairmanship.
"I am concerned that we might lose some momentum during the election season and into the new administration," Papp said on Monday.
The United States currently chairs the international Arctic Council for a two-year term that ends in May 2017. During its chairmanship, Secretary of State John Kerry set an ambitious agenda to address climate change, improve economic opportunities and enhance ocean safety.
Papp explained the new administration will have to be convinced that it is "worth the Secretary of State’s time" to even attend the upcoming 2017 Arctic Council Ministerial.
However, he observed that high-level US participation "is not a foregone conclusion."