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Increasing Relevance of Treaties: The Case of the Arctic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Timo Koivurova*
Affiliation:
Arctic Centre (University of Lapland) University of the Arctic
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The Arctic was one of the main theatres for strategic military confrontation during the Cold War between the blocs led by the United States and the Soviet Union. There was no place for multilateral cooperation, other than for very limited issue areas, such as the 1973 Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears between the five states with polar bear populations. Yet, the warming of relations by the end of the Cold War changed all this. Inspired by Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev’s speech in 1987, in which the Soviet leader pro-posed various possible areas for Arctic cooperation, differing ideas for international cooperation were advanced. Canadians, in particular, were trying to advance international treaty-based general cooperation for the Arctic, but this never came to pass and it was eventually Finland who was able to broker soft-law collaboration between the Cold War rivals.

Type
Agora: The End of Treaties?
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2014

References

1 Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears, Nov. 15, 1973, 27 U.S.T. 3918.

2 The Antarctic Treaty, Generated from the Conference on Antarctica, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., Dec. 1, 1959.

3 Declaration on the Protection of Arctic Environment, Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, Rovaniemi, Finland, June 1991.

4 Declaration on the Establishment of the Arctic Council, Joint Communique of the Governments of the Arctic Countries on the Establishment of the Arctic Council, Ottawa, Canada, Sept. 19, 1996.

5 Bloom, Evan T., Establishment of the Arctic Council, 93 AJIL 712 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 About Us: Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

7 Working Group of Indigenous Peoples, Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

8 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Arctic Counsel & Artic Science Committee (2004).

9 Koivurova, Timo, Limits and Possibilities of the Arctic Council in a Rapidly Changing Scene of Arctic Governance, 46 Polar Record 146 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic, 2011, 50 I.L.M. 1119.

11 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic, May 15, 2013.

12 Int’l Maritime Org. [IMO], Guidelines For Ships Operating In Polar Waters (2010).

13 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report, Arctic Council (2009).

14 Shipping in polar waters: Adoption of an International Code of Safety for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), IMO.

15 Arctic Ocean Conference, Iluliss at, Greenland, May 27-29, 2008, The Iluliss at Declaration (May 28, 2008).

16 Overview: Protecting Life in the Arctic, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

17 Nordic Saami Convention, Fin.-Nor.-Swed.

18 Prime Minister’s Office Finland, Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region 2013, Government Res. at p. 44, Aug. 23, 2013.

19 See International Arctic Science Committee.

20 See International Arctic Social Sciences Association.

21 See University of The Arctic (Uarctic).

22 See Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat.

23 See The Northern Forum.

24 See Arctic Economic Council, Arctic Council (Jan. 28, 2014).

25 See Council of The Baltic Sea States: From Idea to Action: Empowering Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

26 See Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.

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