Canadian Leadership in the Circumpolar World: An Agenda for the Arctic Council Chairmanship 2013-2015


  • Heather Exner-Pirot University of Saskatchewan


Abstract: The Arctic is a region of increasing global interest. Canadian interests in the region-economic, political, social, and environmental-would benefit from the development of an effective governance framework for the Arctic in terms of providing for stable, predictable, and sustainable use of the area's resources in a manner that benefits northern inhabitants. Canada has an opportunity to influence the Arctic policy agenda and promote Canada's interests as in 2013 it assumes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the high-level intergovernmental forum that discusses common circumpolar policy. This article outlines the issue areas most likely to benefit from regional co-operation, and which Canada should promote in the lead up to and during its chairmanship: Search and rescue, fisheries management, shipping regulations, and a regional seas agreement. The article argues that Canada should lead governance reform in the Arctic both because it is in Canada's interests to do so, and because Canada is uniquely placed to do so within the Circumpolar World.

Author Biography

Heather Exner-Pirot, University of Saskatchewan

Heather Exner-Pirot is a special projects manager with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development and a lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan.






Special Collection Articles