Arctic Security Roundtable in Helsinki

At the Arctic Security Roundtable 2019 on May 7th in Helsinki, 40 Experts from Politics, Diplomacy, Science and Military exchanged views under the Chatham House rule on questions on the topic “Successful Regional Cooperation Models: Replicable in the Arctic?”.

Representing the COE CSW, the Director, Executive Director and Arctic Affairs Adviser attended.

During the last decades, the High North has often been seen as an exceptional role model for cooperation, peace and stability. This common view has been challenged during the last Arctic Security Roundtable this February at the Munich Security Conference, with a growing number of participants by now recognizing the Arctic as a typical geopolitical chessboard, neither exceptional, nor necessarily a space of peace and cooperation forever. Against this background, the search for suitable cooperation models for the Arctic Region is urgent.

The growing focus on the region might pose significant new challenges to the Arctic. In this regard the comprehensive approach will remain important. Security does not stand for itself. It is always linked to all other pillars of politics.

In this context, the 'rule based order' - principle of future cooperation remains of utmost importance for a peaceful development. In the maritime domain, double standards in the application of UNCLOS are not acceptable.

The potential for new conflicts is obvious. An early in depth analysis of future conflict lines is crucial to prevent this potential from materializing. Learning from the experiences of other well-proven regional coordination mechanisms and cooperation formats seems to be the appropriate way ahead.

Teija Tiilikainen (Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs), Sauli Niinistö (President, Republic of Finland) and Wolfgang Ischinger (Ambassador; Chairman, Munich Security Conference) opening the first session.

Source Image: MSC / Kuhlmann
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen (Professor, Barents Chair in Politics, University of Tromsø), David A. Balton (Senior Fellow, Polar Institute; Former Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, Department of State, United States) and Christian Bock (Rear Admiral, Director, Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters, NATO) at the discussion session.

Source Image: MSC / Kuhlmann
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