By: Christian Prip
PDF version: The way towards strengthened marine cooperation in the Arctic
Document commented on: Report to Ministers of the Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation.
The Arctic Council Ministers established a Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation (TFAMC) in 2015 “to assess future needs for a regional seas program or other mechanism, as appropriate, for increased cooperation in Arctic marine areas” and “to make recommendations on the nature and scope of any such mechanisms.” (Iqaluit Declaration, paragraph 43) The Task Force was requested to deliver a report to Ministers in 2017 identifying future needs for strengthened cooperation for Arctic marine areas, as well as whether the Council should begin negotiations on a cooperation mechanism for Arctic marine areas.
Co-chaired by the U.S., Norway, and Iceland, the Task Force met five times, with participation from all Arctic States, three Arctic Council Permanent Representatives, four Arctic Council working groups as well as invited experts and observer States and organizations. In its 2017 report, the Task Force requested to continue its work. Ministers at the Arctic Council Ministerial in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 – 11 May 2017 met the request and established a new mandate for the Task Force to present “…terms of reference for a possible new subsidiary Body, and recommendations for complementary enhancements to existing Arctic Council mechanisms, for consideration by Ministers in 2019.” (Fairbanks Declaration, paragraph 12).
A first meeting of the extended TFAMC was held 14 – 15 September 2017. Reports from TFAMC meetings are not made public.