Secretary Kerry traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, on May 14, where he met with Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Bildt to discuss the Arctic Council, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and other issues of global importance.
Secretary Kerry then traveled to Kiruna, Sweden, where he attended the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting on May 15.
The Arctic Council is the only diplomatic forum focused solely on the entire Arctic region. The Council addresses the challenges of climate and environmental change, biodiversity and oceans, among other issues.
Secretary Kerry joined the Foreign Ministers of the seven other Arctic states, as well as the representative of the Arctic indigenous peoples, to review the accomplishments of the Arctic Council and approve the Council’s work plan for the next two years.
Ministers signed the Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Agreement, the second legally binding agreement among the Arctic States, after the 2011 Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement, and the Kiruna Declaration.
The Agreement will forge strong partnerships in advance of an oil spill so that Arctic countries can quickly and cooperatively respond before it endangers lives and threatens fragile ecosystems.
The Ministers also approved recommendations from an experts report on Ecosystem-Based Management.