Murkowski Congratulates Norway on Assumption of Chairship of Arctic Council

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today released the following statement as the Chairship of the Arctic Council, the world’s leading forum for intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration among the nations of the Far North, passed from Russia to Norway.

“I congratulate Norway on the start of its Chairship, which arrives not a moment too soon, and look forward to a productive two-year period for the Arctic Council. We are at a critical juncture for the future of the Arctic, and this transition will allow the Council to get back on track and back to leading the way on the international governance of this dynamic region,” Murkowski said. “I look forward to progress on each of the issues Norway has identified as its leadership priorities – the oceans, climate and environment, sustainable economic development, and the people in the north – along with all the rest of the opportunities and challenges we share in the Far North.”

 The Arctic Council consists of eight nations with territory at the top of the world: Canada, Denmark (with Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the United States. The other Council membership consist of six Permanent Participants who represent the Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic: Aleut International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Gwich’in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and Saami Council. The Council has largely been shut down since March 2022 because of Russia’s catastrophic war on the free and sovereign nation of Ukraine. According to news reports, a third of the Arctic Council’s projects have also been paused over the past 14 months.  

Murkowski, the “Arctic Senator,” frequently participates in meetings and dialogues held by the Arctic Council. She is the U.S. representative and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR), which has Observer status in the Arctic Council. Murkowski and Senator Angus King (I-ME) co-founded the U.S. Senate’s Arctic Caucus.  

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