At the invitation of my good friend Ambassador Hjalmar Hannesson, I attended a lunch with colleagues representing the eight member states that compose the Arctic Council. We had a good and substantive discussion where each of us shared with the others the work that our countries are doing to advance the agenda of the Council. We talked about the Council’s efforts to prevent and react to oils spills, natural resource management, mapping, search and rescue, and many of the topics that bring our
countries together. While the work of the Council doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of other multilateral institutions, the work that it does is substantive, practical, and of enormous importance to all member states. I look forward to working with my colleagues from Iceland and other member states (Russia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada) .