‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum programme presented to ambassadors of Arctic Council member states and observers

A special presentation on the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 4th International Arctic Forum was held on January 18 in Moscow for ambassadors of Arctic Council member countries and countries with observer status. The meeting was the latest in a series of events in preparation for the Forum, which will take place under the auspices of the State Commission for Arctic Development on March 29–30, 2017 in Arkhangelsk.

Ambassadors from Denmark, Norway, and Singapore, as well as official representatives from Germany, Iceland, India, Canada, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, the USA, Finland, Sweden, and Japan attended the event.

Among the speakers at the presentation were:

  • Rafael Abramyan, Director of the Department for Development of Interregional and Cross-Border Cooperation, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
  • Igor Orlov, Governor, Arkhangelsk Region
  • Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Maxim Kulinko, Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Executive Secretary of the State Commission for Arctic Development
  • Slava Khodko, Head of Project Development, The Roscongress Foundation
  • Elena Kudryashova, Rector, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University

The speakers presented the business programme for the upcoming Forum and outlined the proposed key themes for discussion. Events set to take place on the margins of the Forum were also announced, including the ‘Arctic. Made in Russia’ International Youth Educational Forum, the Northern Cities Forum, the Arctic Business Forum, and an extended session of the State Commission for Arctic Development.

“The choice of ‘People and the Arctic’ as the key theme for this year’s Forum is intended to shift discussion about the Arctic from that of a region rich in natural resources to an understanding of the Arctic as a place where people live. The development of transport logistics, port infrastructure, and the expansion of the state services system will all be discussed at the Forum. The task facing all Arctic nations and observer countries today is to ensure the continuation of peace and stability in the region. Last year, our partners expressed their readiness to engage in dialogue on this front, and so I am confident that through the discussions at the Forum we will reach constructive solutions”, said Igor Orlov, Governor of Arkhangelsk Region.

All participants noted the growing geostrategic and economic significance of the Arctic region and expressed the hope that the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum would become a genuine platform for effective cooperation on the Arctic agenda at the international level. Vladimir Barbin, Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, voiced his confidence that tools for mutually beneficial cooperation would be developed at the Forum, given that the event expects to welcome not only representatives of the Arctic nations, but also those from Asian and European countries, as well as investors and business representatives, members of the scientific community, and civil society organizations.