International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and its role in Arctic science diplomacy

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.14 Science diplomacy dialogue: Building common interests in the Arctic
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter
Author(s) Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Abstract text

The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) is a leading Arctic non-governmental international scientific organization, which today encompasses national science organizations from all countries conducting research in and on the Arctic. Its establishment in 1990 preceded the adoption of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) in 1991 and foundation of the Arctic Council (AC) in 1996, making it the first circumpolar institution including both the Arctic and non-Arctic states and dedicated to promoting cooperation in the region previously torn by the Cold War tensions. While over the past 28 years IASC has evolved into the leading international science entity focused on the North, it simultaneously served as a platform for contacts and enhancing bonds between scientists from various countries which relations have not always been close or run without tensions. To what extent has the scientific cooperation in the Arctic helped to establish and sustain collaboration between those states and what role has IASC played in this respect? Furthermore, as the Arctic becomes fully globalized region receiving a lot of attention from the growing number of states and actors, what kind of challenges does this situation present to relations in the region and what role can science play in sustaining and enhancing their peaceful nature in the Arctic? Those are the kind of questions that this paper seek to address.

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