Delegate Name: Alex Mochel
Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
the Kingdom of Denmark
Alex Mochel, Forest Hills Northern High School
The arctic circle has been within the grasp of human beings since before the beginning of written history. Since then, however, many great empires have thrived, died, and invaded the arctic for its seemingly untapped resources. The expansion of the human race to every corner of the globe has also expanded the need for potential resources located in the arctic circle. Throughout the 20th century, it had been agreed to avoid exploiting the arctic through the risk of warfare or difficulty of access. Following the cold war, however, a drastic shift towards using the resources has led many countries to assume a new position on the matter altogether.
Denmark has shifted from its long-held belief that the arctic should be untouched. In 1953 Greenland was made a structural facet of the Kingdom of Denmark. On June 21st, 2009, the concept of autonomous self-rule was introduced. Under this decree, it was said: “that the people of Greenland are a people pursuant to international law with the right of self-determination” (Self-Government Act, 2009:1). Now, in 2022, Greenland has its own representative body: Inatsisartut, and government: Naalakkersuisut. Under these additions, Greenland has assumed many roles from Denmark. With the Self-Government act, however, Greenland can not establish a constitution or its own foreign affairs.
The first step taken by Denmark to address the growing issues involving arctic exploitation and autonomy is to make a plan regarding the future of the area. In this plan, the Kingdom of Denmark puts emphasis on six main and vital aspects of utmost priority 1) maintaining security, safety, and sovereignty; 2) sustainable development of economic projects 3) recognition and prevention of further climate change; 4) international cooperation amongst interested parties; 5) respect and consideration for the natives and citizens in the arctic circle including the 56,000 Innuit, Kalaanlit, and Greenlanders and the 49,000 Faroese directly under the Danish flag, whilst encouraging other countries to respect Sami, Svalbardians, and other Siberian and arctic natives; finally 6) action ensuring protection and sustainability of natural resources, environment, and animal populations.
The Kingdom of Denmark acknowledges there is no simple conclusion or policy that will properly solve the growing ambitions of the world surrounding the arctic circle. Despite this difficulty, Denmark believes that solving this issue is necessary to prevent conflict and damage to the environment. Countries with interest in the Arctic and central arctic powers with land in the arctic must take similar initiatives to plan and protect the great resources such as those listed above. Moreover, progressive actions should be taken in these situations, such as increased spending and awareness involving these issues. The Kingdom of Denmark calls on the nations of Russia, Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland to ensure their priorities are in the best interest of the world as a whole. Furthermore, Denmark looks forward to working with these nations and all other interested parties to create a cohesive solution in order to tackle this pervasive issue.