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White House Arctic Science Ministerial

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03.10.2016  |  News


On September 28, 2016 WSL-Director Konrad Steffen led the Swiss delegation at the first White House Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington D.C.


The conference was called into existence by President Obama after his visit to Alaka last year. The participating countries focused on apolitical scientific exchange and called for even closer cooperation in the future.

In the statement Prof. Dr. Steffen read on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council, he recalled Switzerland’s long-standing involvement and commitment in the Arctic and expressed the wish that Switzerland obtain an observer status in the Arctic Council.

Meeting in four sessions, the participants dealt with the following subjects:

  • Identifying Arctic-Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications
  • Strenghtening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing
  • Empowering Citizens through Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Leveraging Arctic Science
  • Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses.

At the end the representatives of 25 countries and arctic indigeneous peoples signed a joint statement.

The EU expressed the intention to carry out the next arctic ministerial conference in one of its member countries in 2018.