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Scientific Cooperation Task Force held its third meeting in Reykjavik

The Arctic Council’s Task Force for Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic (SCTF) held its third meeting in Reykjavik on May 27-28, 2014. The meeting focused on a draft document related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic. The delegations decided that the task force would continue work on this document at its next meeting in September in Tromsø, Norway.

The Arctic Council’s Kiruna Declaration, signed in May 2013 by Ministers from the eight Arctic Council states, established a Task Force to work towards an arrangement on improved scientific cooperation among the Arctic States. The Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) has held three meetings since its establishment. The first meeting took place in Stockholm in December 2013, the second meeting in Helsinki in April 2014 and the third meeting in Reykjavik on May 27-28, 2014.

In Reykjavik, the Task Force exchanged views on a draft document related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

“At the meeting we made good progress with the draft text we had in front of us,” said Gustaf Lind, one of the co-chairs of the Task Force. He emphasized that discussions will continue at the next Task Force meeting, pointing out that “the task force is making good strides towards a final arrangement.”

The goal is to present the final document at the next Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, which will be hosted by Canada in 2015.

Forty-four delegates participated in the meeting, including representatives from all the eight Arctic Council States, including the Senior Arctic Officials of Iceland and Sweden. Of the Arctic Council’s Permanent Participants, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) attended, as well as representatives of the Arctic Council Working Groups CAFF, PAME and SDWG. Observers represented at the meeting included France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the University of the Arctic (UArctic).

The Task Force is chaired jointly by the United States, Sweden, and the Russian Federation. The third meeting was chaired by Gustaf Lind of Sweden.