Cooperation and potential conflict in the Arctic – MSC will host Arctic Security Roundtable in Reykjavík

On October 12, the eve of the 2017 Assembly of the Arctic Circle in the Icelandic capital, the MSC will convene an Arctic Security Roundtable to advance the discussion on coming challenges in Arctic governance. Around 40 senior representatives of governments, navies, research institutes, and civil society from the Arctic neighborhood and beyond will come together for the roundtable.

U.S. Coast Guard vessel trails Canadian icebreaker (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard).

The Arctic is in flux like literally no other region on earth, and many of its governance issues may be in flux as well. Managed properly, Arctic issues could serve as a driver of renewed trust between the West, Russia, and China, and of renewed confidence in the rule of law and joint global governance. But, if handled poorly, they could easily exacerbate existing tensions. Thus, it is vital to advance the understanding of potential areas of cooperation and conflict in the region. For this purpose, Prime Minister of Iceland Bjarni Benediktsson, Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist, and Finnish Minister for Nordic Cooperation Anne-Catherine Berner, along with 40 other high-ranking decision-makers and preeminent experts will meet at the MSC Arctic Security Roundtable. Focal points of the discussions will include the state of Arctic governance with respect to security issues, the prospects of cooperation across a number of fields, as well as differences in expectations and threat perceptions between countries.


The roundtable is facilitated by the generous support of the Government of Finland, the Mayor of Reykjavík, and Arctia Ltd., as well as the Munich Security Conference’s partners in our Arctic Security Series: the Polar Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the NATO Center of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters, and the Arctic Circle.


We will provide more details and background information for the event on Twitter (#MSCarctic), Facebook, and on our website. If you would like to receive regular updates about MSC activities, please sign up for our newsletter.



Arctic Security and the MSC

Arctic Security has become a key topic on the international security agenda: Warming at a pace of at least twice the global average, the Arctic is undergoing a dramatic transformation that has far-reaching geopolitical and security implications. The MSC wants to contribute to the emerging debate through a series of events aimed at select decision-makers at the highest levels of government, the private sector and civil society. The MSC hosted its first Arctic Security Roundtables during the Munich Security Conference 2017 and at the MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington this May.  



About the Munich Security Conference

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is the world's leading platform for debates on international security policy. With over 500 official participants and 300 observers assembled at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, the annual conference provides a unique atmosphere for frank, private and mostly off-the-record exchange on present and future security challenges and solutions. In addition to its annual conference, the MSC Foundation hosts a number of smaller, albeit equally high-profile, events around the world. This includes Core Group Meetings, which have a regional focus, as well as thematic tracks, such as the Cyber Security Series, the Health Security Series and the European Defence Series, with Summits and Roundtables in different cities around the world.

04 October 2017, by MSC