Murkowski Takes Leadership Role in Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was selected to serve as Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR), the Arctic Council’s working body with permanent participants from eight Arctic countries. Senator Murkowski has represented the U.S. on the Standing Committee, as an Arctic Parliamentarian, since 2003. Being elevated to the position of Vice Chairman enables her to serve in a greater leadership role to further promote cooperation and collaboration in the Arctic and address issues put forward by SCPAR. As Vice Chairman, Senator Murkowski will work closely with the incoming Chair—Greenlandic Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Member of Parliament of Denmark—to address pressing issues in the Arctic including improving access to broadband connectivity, promoting sustainable development, addressing climate change, ensuring environmental stewardship, and preserving indigenous Arctic culture and communities. In this role, Senator Murkowski will be at the forefront of Arctic diplomacy efforts.

“As we see a growing level of interest in the Arctic by nations from around the globe, as an Arctic nation, the United States must have a seat at the table. I am honored to have represented the United States on the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region for well over a decade now, and I look forward to serving on the committee in this leadership role alongside incoming Chair Aaja Chemnitz Larsen. The parliamentarians will work to develop and advance the priorities of the committee in the Arctic and for the people of the Arctic—such as addressing climate change, promoting sustainable development, as well as making sure those who live in the region have a greater voice on policy and research,” said Senator Murkowski. “Ensuring the Arctic remains a zone of peace remains our priority, and we can do that by working together as Arctic nations toward common goals. We recognize our nations are all unique, but the interconnectedness of the Arctic and our shared challenges presents us with significant common ground. This allows us to coalesce around solutions and capitalize on the many opportunities in the region.”

“I’m thankful for the work Senator Murkowski has done over many years for the U.S. and Alaska in the Standing Committee, said Mr. Eirik Sivertsen, member of Parliament of Norway who served as Chair of SCPAR until today’s change of leadership. “Her contributions have secured constructive solutions and good cooperation on important matters for the Arctic region. I’m very pleased that Senator Murkowski has decided to contribute as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee. I’m confident she will strongly contribute to U.S.A. role in the Arctic cooperation. I know senator Murkowski is very committed to the well-being of all the peoples of the Arctic. I’m confident she will see to that the Arctic parliamentarians will continue to have global warming, education and cooperation in the Arctic at the top of the agenda.”

“Now more than ever, our shared platforms, such as this Committee are becoming increasingly important. The global attention, the changes due to the climate and new business opportunities in the Arctic Region are some of the reasons why Arctic is as interesting as never before,” said Aaja Chemnitz Larsen. “Despite vast distances between Arctic citizens, we share a wide range of common challenges and opportunities, which we can address and act on jointly through the committee – thereby strengthening our voices across the Arctic states to leaders and governments in the Arctic.”

At this week’s digital Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians, Senator Murkowski gave remarks on the economic and societal consequences of COVID-19 on the Arctic. Click here for the full speech.

Arctic Parliamentarians

Click here for video of Murkowski’s remarks.

Senator Murkowski is also co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus and was joined by fellow caucus members during the Conference. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) made comments on climate change while Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) participated as observers.

Related Issues: Arctic