Innehållet publicerades under perioden 3 oktober 2014 till den 20 januari 2019

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.

Utrikesminister Margot Wallströms anförande på seminariet Utmaningar och möjligheter i Arktis på Utrikespolitiska institutet


Det talade ordet gäller.

Ladies and Gentlemen; Excellencies; Arctic Friends,

The Arctic is an integral part of Sweden as well as of our neighbourhood policy. It is a core interest for us to preserve the Arctic as a region of peace, stability and cooperation.

Today's conference is an occasion to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Arctic Council.

The success of Arctic cooperation probably has many explanations. I would like to highlight four of them.

  1. Respect for international law.
  2. The functioning and truly multilateral cooperation amongst Arctic States. This has historically been demonstrated in an ability and readiness to identify common interests and win-win outcomes.
  3. Evidence-based policies.
  4. And the Arctic Council as a functional body for regional dialogue. The Council gains additional strength and legitimacy through the permanent participation of six indigenous groups, including the Sami.

Twenty years of cooperation in the High North have taught us that functioning international cooperation – as is practised within the Arctic Council – can provide peace and prosperity.

The long-standing bilateral cooperation between Norway and Russia on fishery in the Barents Sea is a good example. There was a time when unregulated competition risked causing irreversible harm to the population of cod and other species in the Arctic. Now, following years of close cooperation between the two countries, a rational system of joint management of fishery resources has been put in place.

According to recent evaluations by ICES, (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), they assess, and I quote, that "the largest commercially exploited fish stocks (capelin, cod and haddock) are now harvested at fishing mortalities close to those in the management plan and have full reproductive capacity." This is a positive development and will, in turn, give higher quotas for fishermen from Russia, Norway and other countries.

This example can inspire and lead us onwards. It shows the strong link between the cooperative spirit among the Arctic States on the one hand, and our commitment to sustainability and economic development on the other. Economic development and the sustainable management of the Arctic environment must go hand in hand.

* * *

Ladies and Gentlemen; Excellencies,

The Arctic Region is not an isolated land of ice. It is not only wild nature and harsh landscapes. It is a region very much defined by the people living there.

The Swedish Arctic is reindeer herding, important mining and top universities. It is breath-taking environments and popular tourist destinations, Facebook storage and space industry.

The North has the right to develop and its people have the right to lead good lives. Just like any other part of Sweden and our population. This underlines the need for sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

I myself come from the North of Sweden, so I know what I'm talking about. Jobs and schools, well-functioning infrastructure and respect for nature are necessary. Tomorrow I'm going to Norrbotten to continue this discussion about the future of the Arctic.

Ladies and Gentlemen; Excellencies,

The theme of this panel is The environment and climate.

Last year, when I was at the Arctic Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, I was again reminded of the long-term effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. The lingering impact of such a catastrophe has remained a burden for the recuperation of wildlife as well as vital microbial organisms some 27 years later.

The environment of the Arctic is magnificent, yet fragile. It is overwhelming in its importance for us – our planet and ourselves – and at the same time vulnerable to manmade disasters.

Environment and climate is an important topic on the Arctic Council's agenda. It is an undisputed fact that climate change, if not slowed down, will irreversibly change the Arctic as we know it. It will destroy living conditions and accelerate negative trends globally. The consequences would be devastating.

Now should therefore be the time, in the spirit of COP21, to further raise our level of ambition in the Arctic Council. To stop global warming and environmental degradation.

I am pleased to note that the US chairmanship has put the climate and COP21 in a prominent position on the Council's agenda. I hope that we will now take the next step and turn these intentions into concrete action.

We can look back on 20 years of successful cooperation in the Arctic Council. It gives us a solid foundation to build on when facing our common challenges.

Let's assume political leadership and get down to business. There is a lot to do, and by working together I'm sure we can continue to achieve a great deal.

Thank you.

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.