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28th Legislature(2013-2014)

Bill Text 28th Legislature

00 Enrolled HR 7                                                                                                           
01 Requesting the United States Secretary of State to attend the Arctic Council ministerial                                
02 meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, on May 15, 2013, as the Arctic Minister of the United States.                                
03                                          _______________                                                                
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:                                                                       
05      WHEREAS eight Arctic nations, including the United States and six indigenous                                     
06 organizations, four of which reside in Alaska, are currently represented on the Arctic Council;                         
07 and                                                                                                                     
08      WHEREAS the Arctic Council serves as the premier intergovernmental forum on                                      
09 Arctic issues; and                                                                                                      
10      WHEREAS the United States is an Arctic nation because of the presence of the state                               
11 in the Arctic; and                                                                                                      
12      WHEREAS Canada, which will assume the chair of the Arctic Council at the                                         
13 May 2013 ministerial meeting, has announced that, during Canada's term as chair, the council                            
14 will focus on "development for the people of the North," with subthemes of responsible Arctic                           
15 resource development, safe Arctic shipping, and sustainable circumpolar communities, and                                
16 those areas of focus align with the interests and priorities of the state; and                                          
17      WHEREAS the United States will assume the chair of the Arctic Council in                                         
01 May 2015; and                                                                                                           
02      WHEREAS the United States and Canada will cooperate closely during their                                         
03 respective terms as chair, and both will be working to increase cooperation among Arctic                                
04 nations and engage the world in addressing the challenges and opportunities in the Arctic; and                          
05      WHEREAS the Twenty-Seventh Alaska State Legislature, in an effort to become                                      
06 more engaged in Arctic policy and work more closely with and have greater input into federal                            
07 agency actions in the Arctic, in 2012, established the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission; and                             
08      WHEREAS the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission recognizes the importance of                                         
09 cross-border collaboration and the fundamental role the Arctic Council has in promoting that                            
10 cooperation; and                                                                                                        
11      WHEREAS the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, the Governor of Alaska, and the                                     
12 Alaska State Legislature are highly motivated to ensure the state's interests in the Arctic are                         
13 represented at national and international levels; and                                                                   
14      WHEREAS former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the                                     
15 highest level American official to represent the United States at the Arctic Council ministerial                        
16 meeting in Nuuk, Greenland, in May 2011, signing, on behalf of the United States, the Arctic                            
17 Search and Rescue Agreement, the first binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of                               
18 the Arctic Council; and                                                                                                 
19      WHEREAS, at the May 2013 Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden,                                   
20 a second Arctic agreement, on cooperation on marine oil pollution preparedness and response                             
21 in the Arctic, is expected to be signed by the Arctic Ministers; and                                                    
22      WHEREAS it is vital that the nation participate at the highest level at the Arctic                               
23 Council and other Arctic forums to further the interests of the nation and the state in the                             
24 Arctic; and                                                                                                             
25      WHEREAS the position of the representative on the Arctic Council from the United                                 
26 States should be consistent with the other Arctic nations represented on the Arctic Council,                            
27 and, in the case of a ministerial meeting, that representative is a Foreign Minister or Secretary                       
28 of State;                                                                                                               
29      BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives requests United States                                          
30 Secretary of State John Kerry to attend the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Kiruna,                               
31 Sweden, on May 15, 2013, as the Arctic Minister of the nation; and be it                                                
01      FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives requests that Secretary                                       
02 Kerry work with the state before the Arctic Council ministerial meeting to develop language                             
03 for his remarks to the Arctic Council that reflects the interests of the state and that represents                      
04 the level of cooperation that will best serve the state and the nation in the Arctic.                                   
05      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                              
06 the United States; the Honorable John F. Kerry, United States Secretary of State; and the                               
07 Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the                                          
08 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                 
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