Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

International treaty for the protection of the Arctic

Delivered in Plenary - 1st April 2009

Mr President

The Antarctic Treaty serves as a global shining example that territorial claims by littoral states can be set aside in the interests of peaceful cooperation and scientific research. As the world confronts the issue of global warming impacting on the melting of the two caps and causing rising sea levels, and as frozen Arctic maritime passages re-open to navigation, it is important that an analogous arrangement be found for the frozen or should I say thawing North of the Arctic. The scramble for sovereign claims and Arctic mineral resources, as evidenced by the melodramatic planting of the Russian flag on the sea bed, must be rejected.

The EU should try and convince the five Arctic littoral states the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark of the wisdom of such an approach.