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Monday, October 3, 2022

Biden Establishes Arctic Region Ambassador Position to Counter Geopolitical Threats

The new ambassador's responsibilities, according to the administration, will be to "promote" American policy

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Ishita Chakraborty
Ishita Chakraborty
Editor-in-Chief at Transcontinental Times, Computer Science Graduate, PG diploma in Journalism and Mass communication. Ishita is a youth activist for PETA India, President of Girlup IWO, and a linguaphile. She covers social issues, politics, UN initiatives, sports, and diversity.

UNITED STATES: In light of escalating geopolitical tensions with China and Russia, the Biden administration has announced plans to create a new ambassador-at-large position to represent the Arctic region.  

The State Department wrote in a press release on Friday that, “To further American interests and cooperation with Allies and partners in the Arctic, and after extensive consultations with Members of Congress, local and federal government officials, and external stakeholders, the President plans to elevate the Arctic Coordinator position by appointing an Ambassador-at-Large for the Arctic Region, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.”  

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It stated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken considers a “peaceful” and “prosperous” Arctic region to be of “vital strategic importance” to the United States. According to the State Department, creating the new job was made possible in part by “combating climate change”.

Temperatures in the region are rising twice as fast as elsewhere on Earth. Photo Credit: Instagram

Promoting American policy in the Arctic

The new ambassador’s responsibilities, according to the administration, will be to “promote” American policy in the area while interacting with counterparts from Arctic and non-Arctic countries as well as indigenous organizations.  

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“We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Congress to swiftly confirm the Ambassador-at-Large, once a nomination is sent to the Senate,” the press release added.  

The new approach comes at a time when China has positioned itself as a “near-Arctic state” as it expands its grip in the area and Russia is assertively staking claims of new sea lanes that have emerged in the region as a result of melting ice.

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The Arctic Council, made up of the eight countries, the United States, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Denmark- along with Greenland and the Faroe Islands- coordinated some aspects of Arctic cooperation and politics.

The region’s frozen ecosystem combined with the fact that its political scene operates in isolation from the rest of the world creates a unique geopolitical theatre. 

The executive branches, legislative bodies, and implementing agencies of the eight nations, as well as, to a lesser extent, those of the UK, Germany, the EU and China, wield the bulk of the political power in relation to Arctic policy.  

Academics and NGOs are important players in the region’s policy. Organizations like NATO and the UN, particularly in relation to the LAw of the Sea Treaty, are also crucial.

Also Read: US Senate Delivers Bipartisan Approval to Sweden-Finland NATO Bid Opposing Russia

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  • Ishita Chakraborty

    Editor-in-Chief at Transcontinental Times, Computer Science Graduate, PG diploma in Journalism and Mass communication. Ishita is a youth activist for PETA India, President of Girlup IWO, and a linguaphile. She covers social issues, politics, UN initiatives, sports, and diversity.

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