The Arctic Consensus participated in a seminar about geopolitics in the Arctic on November 28, 2018
The seminar “The Geopolitical Game of Superpowers in the Arctic” was held in Aarhus and organized by the Danish Foreign Policy Society. The seminar addressed private, business and students, all of whom have an interest in the Arctic agenda. Over the years, the Arctic has gained even greater awareness and role when speaking international politics. As climate change changes the landscape, it also changes the economic potential of oil, gas, minerals, as well as new trade routes and seaways. International political leadership has changed significantly with Donald Trump as President of the United States, while Europe is in an unstable conflict with Russia about Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Russia has increased their Arctic fleet expansion, and China has developed into a greater power with major global ambitions, and showing interest in investments in Greenlandic infrastructure, and all this happens while smaller states like Denmark/Greenland and Norway operate in this geopolitical game of superpowers.
The purpose of the seminar was to illuminate and debate the work on the Ilulissat Declaration – the idea of its creation, as well as its importance today. In order to illuminate these topics as best as possible, the speakers consisted of, among others, Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, who helped to create the Ilulissat Declaration. He spoke about the creation of the declaration, the diplomatic process and the challenges in relation to the current geopolitical situation. The Norwegian ambassador H.E. Aud Kolberg spoke about the Norwegian perspective in relation to the Ilulissat Declaration. Finally, there was a panel presentation consisting of Associate Professor Ulrik Pram Gad, Associate Professor Mette Skak and Associate Professor Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, who all spoke of the security policy situation in the Arctic, from the Realm of Denmark, Russia and the wider international political scene.