OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) has appointed Norwegian parliamentarian Ola Elvestuen (V) as the PA’s first Special Representative for Arctic Issues.
The newly established position will help ensure that the Assembly is kept informed of the latest developments and trends concerning the Arctic and will enhance the Assembly’s co-operation with other international organizations in this increasingly important region.
“Since members of the OSCE PA gathered in Tromso ten years ago to consider the specific environmental and security challenges faced by Arctic states, these challenges have only gained in prominence within both the Assembly and the international community,” President Kanerva said.
“The Paris Agreement on climate change provides even greater incentive for the creation of this new position, which will promote co-operation and better understanding among OSCE parliamentarians, particularly from the Arctic states. I am confident in Mr. Elvestuen’s leadership in this area and I look forward to working with him.”
In accepting the appointment, Elvestuen said:
“Challenges for the Arctic area are geopolitical, environmental and economic, and human-rights-related. That is, they cut across all dimensions of human security that the OSCE works on. There is the issue of emerging tensions between countries in the High North and of course, there is climate change, which is resulting in serious environmental, security-related and social challenges, including special challenges for indigenous peoples. I am honored to assume this very timely position in the OSCE PA and I look forward to raising awareness and providing insight on Arctic issues.”