A joint statement, officially establishing the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF), was signed on Friday by leaders representing all eight coast guard agencies of the Arctic nations.
The Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. Membership includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States.
“Today’s historic Arctic Coast Guard Forum represents a critical step forward in our collective efforts to promote safety, security and environmentally-responsible maritime activity in the Arctic,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “As the ocean becomes more accessible to human activity, all Arctic nations have committed to enhancing maritime cooperation in this remote and challenging environment.”
The Arctic region is gathering increased global attention due to dynamic geo-political factors such as climate change, permanent ice cover, and intensifying competition for undiscovered resources. Such factors provided context as members came together in March this year to reach consensus on the forum’s operating principles, strategic objectives and rules of governance.
The signing ceremony marked the successful conclusion of a summit held at the United States Coast Guard Academy on October 28-30, 2015. The ACGF will reconvene for an Experts Meeting in spring 2016.