Skip to content

 High-level Meeting in Ilulissat, Greenland on the Occasion of the 10-year Anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration 

22.05.2018  14:14

Anders Samuelsen, Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Vivian Motzfeldt, Greenland’s Minister for Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs, will host a high-level meeting on 22-23 May 2018 on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration. The purpose of the meeting is to affirm the support of the Arctic States to the principles of the declaration and to discuss the joint efforts for a peaceful and productive cooperation.

Anders Samuelsen says:
“With the Ilulissat Declaration from May 2008, the coastal States bordering the Arctic Ocean agreed to maintain the Arctic as a low-tension region, where disputes are resolved peacefully. It is in our clear interest to maintain this situation. In other parts of the world, the Arctic States are involved in critical conflicts on different sides. We can be very pleased that we managed to maintain the dialogue and the cooperation in the Arctic. We need stay on this path – and this is where the Ilulissat Declaration plays a key role.“

Vivian Motzfeldt says:
 "I am honored to co-host this important event in Ilulissat. In the time of globalization and global uncertainty, it is important to re-affirm the core values of this exceptional region; peace and prosperity for our peoples. We take the responsibility for living up to these values in close cooperation - this is truly unique. I am therefore grateful that the indigenous peoples organizations and Arctic States are here to mark the core values of the Ilulissat Declaration.”

After a period of growing uncertainty about the future of the region, the Coastal States to the Arctic Ocean - the United States, the Russian Federation, Canada, Norway and the Kingdom of Denmark - agreed in the Ilulissat Declaration to resolve conflicts through dialogue and negotiations within the framework of international law. The five states also agreed to strengthen their cooperation in a range of areas, including economic development, scientific research, environmental protection and safety of navigation. The Ilulissat Declaration has thus been essential to the success of cooperation in the Arctic.
 
 The high-level meeting will also focus on sustainable economic development. Participants are invited on a case study tour through Ilulissat Icefjord to Ilimanaq village. In Ilimanaq, local economic growth has been supported by building cabins, from which tourists can experience Greenland’s awe-inspiring nature. The village is an example of job creation through tourism, which both respects local culture and traditions and which generates revenue that is beneficial to investors and the local community.
 
 Vivian Motzfeldt says:
 "The key to a sustainable development in the Arctic is its people. Our core responsibility is thus to secure the prosperity of the inhabitants through innovation and sustainably using the environment that we are in. Due to the conditions we live in, our scarce human resources and infrastructural challenges the inhabitants in the Arctic cannot compete globally on many factors. Ilimanaq is a good example of using the local environment for economic development and show casing the unique local features of Greenland. We are committed to strengthening our economic cooperation within the Arctic region to support the development of successes like Ilimanaq."
 
 Anders Samuelsen says:
”Technological progress and climate change gives new opportunities for sailing the Arctic waters, for extracting natural resources and for economic development. We work to improve conditions for businesses so the new opportunities can benefit the citizens of the Arctic.”

Scientific research will also be highlighted at the meeting where a special session will focus on the prospects of the new Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation agreed under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The Kingdom of Denmark has acted as depositary for the agreement which enters into force on May 23, 2018.
 
 In addition to the hosts, the meeting will have participation from ministers and representatives from the United States, the Russian Federation, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Arctic indigenous peoples.

For further information
 Press Advisor Kasper Thams Olsen, +45 61 97 90 31