Arctic Agreement

An agreement in principle was reached in Washington, D.C. to prevent unregulated deep-sea fishing in the central Arctic Ocean. The agreement will enter into force as soon as the ten parties ratify it and remain in force for 16 years. It will automatically be extended by an additional 5 years if the parties agree. EU and Arctic partners reach a landmark agreement to prevent unregulated deep-sea fishing, established by the 1996 Ottawa Declaration. The Arctic Council comprises the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States). The Arctic Council is not an international treaty-based organization, but an international forum that operates on the basis of consensus and reproduces the peaceful and cooperative nature of the Arctic. The Council focuses its work on issues related to sustainable development, environmental protection; their mandate expressly excludes military security. Traditionally, the Council is chaired by the foreign minister of the country who holds the presidency. The day-to-day work is carried out by the eight senior Arctic officials (OAS) and six REPRESENTATIVEs of the PP, with contributions from working groups, expert groups and task forces. To learn more about the Arctic Council, please visit its website at www.arctic-council.org . The final text of the agreement guarantees the participation of indigenous peoples as a result of the process and acknowledges that in May 2013, the eight Arctic states signed the agreement on cooperation in the preparation and response to pollution caused by marine hydrocarbons in the Arctic at the 9th Arctic Council in Kiruna, Sweden.

This is the second legally binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The agreement strengthens cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance between Arctic nations in preparing and responding to oil pollution in the region to protect the marine environment.