FAIRBANKS (Sputnik) — Fleener spoke ahead of the Arctic Council ministerial meeting scheduled to take place on Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, where Washington will conclude its two-year chairmanship and transfer it to Helsinki.
"I'd like to see more attention given to food security issues," Fleener said. "In the far northern parts of the Arctic struggle with food security, the ability to take care of your family by living on the land is a very important issue."
The adviser added that in the next two years he expected more funding for scientific research and engineering arctic infrastructure, as well as making power distribution across the Arctic less expensive.
"Meeting food security needs, building infrastructure and driving down the cost of energy, I think those are critical issues," he stated.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum 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. The intergovernmental group aims to facilitate cooperation among the eight states and Arctic indigenous communities and focuses on sustainable development and environmental protection of the region.