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Arctic Circle
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Polar Dialogue at the Arctic Circle Assembly 2024

By the Arctic Circle Secretariat

Arctic Circle announces the launch of Polar Dialogue, a new initiative at the upcoming Assembly, 17-19 October.

The Dialogue builds on the preceding Paris Polar Summit which was held at the initiative of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron in November last year, and a series of discussions during consultative meetings with key stakeholders in Monaco, Paris, Reykjavík and Berlin in recent months. The general outcome of these discussions is that there exists a growing need to come together and discuss the Arctic, Antarctic and Himalaya - Third Pole, as well as other ice covered areas of the world, for the purpose of consultation and cooperation. Furthermore, it has been noted that this process could in many ways be helpful in the preparation of the Fifth Polar Year IPY 5, which will take place in 2032-33.

Currently, the plan is to convene the Polar Dialogue at this year’s Assembly, and to continue at the 2025 Assembly and possibly longer, if it is deemed useful by those involved. Connections to policy development will be emphasized without the intention of creating any type of declaration. This framework has received the full support of the representatives of the Paris Polar Summit. Additionally, the Prime Minister of Iceland has declared his support, recognizing that Arctic Circle will be the organizer and host.

The Polar Dialogue will consist of a series of sessions, consultative meetings, workshops and high-level Plenary Sessions taking place during the Assembly’s three days. A key element of the Dialogue will be the by invitation Chatham House sessions on Science Diplomacy. These sessions, that have been held at the last two Assemblies and at the Forum in Berlin, have been particularly useful to discuss, in an open way, the current state of affairs and various challenges. Within the program of the Polar Dialogue, these sessions will be convened on the first and the last day of the Assembly, allowing for enhanced in-depth discussions that take into account the development of the Dialogue. The Arctic Circle Secretariat will attempt to bring high-level political leaders to the Polar Dialogue to allow for a constructive dialogue with the scientific community.

The aim is to facilitate constructive dialogue on the ice-covered areas of our Planet through open and democratic discussions

The program of the Polar Dialogue will be predominantly focused on science and research. The aim is to facilitate constructive dialogue on the ice-covered areas of our Planet through open and democratic discussions. Additionally, the Polar Dialogue will provide the opportunity for all relevant actors engaged in these affairs to come together in one place and on equal ground to put forward and discuss ideas, concerns, challenges and opportunities.

To make the Polar Dialogue as successful as possible, Arctic Circle has created an Advisory Committee consisting of experts in this field. The Committee’s main role will be to advise on the Polar Dialogue’s program, execution and speakers in the months leading up to the event. Current members of the committee are:

  • Dr. Antje Boetius, Director, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
  • Mr. Martin Binachon, Policy Analyst, Polar and Marine Regions, Europe Jacques Delors
  • Mr. Evan Bloom, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute Wilson Center
  • Dr. Henry Burgess, President, International Arctic Science Committee
  • Dr. Jérôme Chappellaz, Glaciologist, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Dr. Hiroyuki Enomoto, Research Professor and Vice Director-General, Arctic Observation Center, National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR)
  • Dame Jane Francis, Director, British Antarctic Survey
  • Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
  • Dr. Huigen Yang, Professor, Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC); Director, China-Nordic-Arctic Research Center (CNARC)
  • Dr. Hyoung-Chul Shin, President, Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI)
  • H.E. Pascal Lamy, Vice-President, Paris Peace Forum
  • Mr. Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, Special Envoy for the President of France; Ambassador to the Poles and Maritime Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr. Jefferson Cardia Simões, Vice-President, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Brazil
  • Ms. Vicky Lee Wallgren, Director, Global Arctic Programme WWF
  • Dr. Jan-Gunnar Winther, Pro-rector, Research and Development, UiT The Arctic University, Norway
  • Representative from the Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • Representative from the Sámiráđđi

By publishing this article in the Journal, Arctic Circle is issuing an invitation to anyone interested to come forward with suggestions or comments about these plans for the Polar Dialogue. For more information, please contact Secretariat@arcticcircle.org