Thursday, April 30, 2009

Environment: Canada opens Arctic research center in Oslo to defend its interests in the region

Xinhua reports Canada will open an international Arctic research center in Oslo to better defend the country's interests in the Arctic region, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced Wednesday.

The center is meant to "promote Canadian interests, influence key partners and better understand emerging issues," Cannon said in a press release after returning from the Sixth Arctic Council Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Norway.

The research center is seen as a key component in Ottawa's strategy to educate Europeans about the challenges of living in the Arctic, government officials said.

"We believe that a better understanding of the realities of the region, including the interests and concerns of northerners, must be at the heart of our respective northern policies," a foreign affairs official told the Canadian Press.

The European Union has on occasion "demonstrated a lack of sensitivity to the interests and perspectives of Arctic peoples," most notably with its ban on trade in seal products, the official added.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits