Reykjavik, Iceland: - I am very excited to be in this new position as the U.S Special Representative for the Arctic, says Admiral Robert J. Papp. He says the United States will speed up the work of the Arctic Council when the country takes over the chairmanship next year.
The Artic Circle 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland, has gathered around 1400 participants from more than 40 conutries, and one of the main speakers during the first day of the Assembly is Admiral Papp, who was named as the U.S Special Representative for the Arctic just three months ago.
First international speech
Today he gave his first international speech in front of leaders from several countries in the Arctic, Europe and Asia. Amongst them several ministers, members of parliament, government officials,academics, hundreds of specialists, and leaders in business and environmental affairs.
What do they all have in common? Interests in the Arctic; in one way or the other. The Assembly gathers anyone from politicans to businessowners and environmentalists.
Admiral Papp spoke to them all during the opening session, not only about the many opportunities and challenges in the Arctic, but also about the importance of taking care of the people that actually live in the region that stretches over many countries.
Stronger and more vibrant
When High North News meets him a few hours later, as the only Norwegian newspaper allowed to the press conference at the U.S Embassy in Reykjavik, he is clear about the fact that the U.S has many and strong ambitions for the Arctic Council when the country takes over the chairmanship in 2015.
- We will put the Arctic Council on steroids, he states, in front of the small group of international journalists.
- We will make the Arctic Council a stronger and more vibrant organization, he explains, adding that the U.S both will focus on economical development in the High North, as well as doing their best to take care of the people that lives there.
- We need to be responsible, he concludes.
- We are delighted and proud to take over the chairmanship, he says, adding that the U.S also plans to continue many of the initiatives that have already been started.
Measures of how to deal with the climate changes will be one of the main focuses when the U.S. take over the chairmanship next year.