No Arctic declaration due to US refusal

Members of the Arctic Council meeting in Finland's far north on Tuesday failed to issue their traditional final declaration due to a US refusal to mention climate change, news wires reported. This is the first time the Arctic Council, which held its first meeting in 1996, failed to present a final declaration at the end of one of its ministerial meetings, which are held every two years. The Arctic Council groups Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the US.

"This is an organization where all decisions are based on consensus. There must be unanimous decisions," Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who chaired the meeting, told reporters."I don't name and blame anybody," he said about the absence of a declaration, adding "it is clear that climate issues are different from the different viewpoints and from the different capitals."

In a speech in Rovaniemi on the eve of the council meeting, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took on China, which holds observer status, and Russia, slamming their "aggressive behaviour" in the Arctic. And notably, he did not mention "climate change" once, even though, according to scientists, global warming is progressing twice as fast in the Arctic as in the rest of the world.

Similar articles

  • Erdogan hosts Putin, Rouhani for Syria summit

    Erdogan hosts Putin, Rouhani for Syria summit

    All three leaders are expected to hold one-on-one meetings before the summit

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host his Russian and Iranian counterparts today, 16 September, for their latest summit on Syria, with attention focused on Damascus's push on the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib.  Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani will join Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara for their fifth summit on the conflict since 2017, as reported by AFP.

  • Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap lauded

    Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap lauded

    In a tweet yesterday afternoon US President Donald Trump congratulated Russia and Ukraine on a prisoner swap that happened earlier the same day. “Russia and Ukraine just swapped large numbers of prisoners. Very good news, perhaps a first giant step to peace. Congratulations to both countries!”, he wrote.

  • Pope Francis puts climate change in focus during his Africa trip

    Pope Francis puts climate change in focus during his Africa trip

    Pope Francis starts a trip to the African continent on Wednesday, including Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius, three countries heavily threatened by climate change. Protecting the environment and the dangers of climate change have been key issues for Pope Francis, who published an encyclical or "laudato si" on the topic back in 2015, and said in June that the Church was "fully committed to do its part" to help stop climate change, dpa reported.