Friday, August 22, 2008

Axworthy: A new Arctic circle

There's too much at stake to go it alone in the North

Lloyd  Axworthy, in the Globe and Mail, 22 August 2008. Excerpts:

The Arctic is in danger of becoming a source of serious conflict among Canadians, Americans, Europeans and Russians. The consequences: The interests of northern indigenous people will be ignored, the impact of climate change on the region's delicate ecology will be overlooked, and the prospect of co-operation in creating well-governed sea routes that can open up new trade opportunities will be lost....

Canada should take the lead in persuading other Arctic nations to switch from a competitive conflict-based model to one based on co-operation. Changing our military, legalistic approach to more creative diplomatic solutions based on the rule of law and mutual interest must be a top priority. The North represents our future. It is time we began to approach the region and its people with an internationalist vision that we know from recent experience can work.