The Arctic Council, the leading intergovernmental forum for cooperation, coordination and interaction among the countries on common Arctic issues, is once again among the contenders for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, which is to be announced Friday.
Formed in 1996, the Arctic Council is made up of eight nations bordering the Arctic: The United States, Canada, Russia, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, with the region’s indigenous populations also represented. Iceland is the council’s current chair.
The council is focused on promoting peace and stability in the region, as well as putting an emphasis on sustainable development and environmental protection.
With Arctic temperatures rising at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, the melting ice is creating potential new shipping lanes and has opened much of the world’s last untapped reserves of oil and gas to commercial exploitation.
The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 9 million Swedish crowns ($1,007,367), will be announced October 9 but this year’s winner will not get their medals and diplomas presented to them at Stockholm’s concert hall as usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead the prizes will instead be handed out during a televised ceremony in December with laureates receiving their awards in their own countries.
The Nobel Foundation had already cancelled the glittering banquet which marks the end of the annual festivities in December. It was the first time since 1956 that the banquet had been cancelled.
The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created and funded in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901.