Murkowski: “North to the Future Means Now”

Senator Pursuing Alaskan, American Interests at Arctic Council Meetings

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Lisa Murkowski today landed in Kiruna, Sweden for the biennial Arctic Council Ministerial meeting to sit down with international leaders from the seven other Arctic nations and determine intelligent and responsible Arctic policy, while sharing approaches to the opportunities and challenges arising with the emergence of the region.

“The world is awakening to the fact that ‘North to the Future’ means now,” said Murkowski.  “As important as building infrastructure in America’s Arctic is to allow the United States to benefit fully in the path forward, the reality is that we also must be building bridges with our northern neighbors as these new opportunities open up.  The Arctic Council is an incredibly important forum for information-gathering, international cooperation, and consensus development so that America is not standing on the sidelines as Arctic policies move forward.”

Arctic matters are rising in geopolitical prominence, as receding ice is creating new shipping and resource development opportunities – while also adding a new front to national security concerns.  Murkowski – who has long been an advocate for America leading in Arctic issues – is joining Secretary of State John Kerry to represent our nation’s interests in meetings with officials from Russia, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark/Greenland.

In 2011, Murkowski joined then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a historic trip to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Nuuk, Greenland – marking the first time a member of Congress and a Secretary of State attended the event, underscoring the importance of Arctic issues on the national agenda.