The Foreign Service Journal, September 2021

10 SEPTEMBER 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL LETTERS Arctic Awareness I’d like to commend AFSA’s excellent work in offering insights on the rapidly changing Arctic region and its wide-rang- ing implications for American diplomacy. I particularly enjoyed reading the “Focus on Arctic Diplomacy” articles in the May issue. Your contributors, including Senator LisaMurkowski (R-Alaska), Ambassador (ret.) David Balton and Iceland’s Ambas- sador Einar Gunnarsson, explained well the Arctic Council’s critical role in fostering exceptional regional cooperation. At the same time, they appropriately warned of the emerging challenges confronting the Arctic nations, their Indigenous communi- ties and other interested parties, as they must adapt to the new polar environment. I also enjoyed reading the interview with James P. DeHart, the U.S. coordina - tor for the Arctic region, and hearing his remarks as the featured speaker for AFSA’s Inside Diplomacy webinar in May. He clearly outlined U.S. policy priorities in the Arctic while highlighting U.S. government concerns with the risks posed by growing Russian military activities and Chinese economic involvement in the Arctic. Finally, I particularly enjoyed Eavan Cully’s article, “Setting Up Shop in Nuuk, ” on reestablishing the U.S. consulate in Greenland after a hiatus of nearly seven decades. Her article offers a practical overview of long-standing U.S. relations with Greenland, which is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark with a certain degree of self-rule. Anyone planning to visit Greenland will benefit from reading Ms. Cully’s infor- mative piece. My spouse and I traveled to Nuuk and other Greenland locations about three years ago to learn about the people, culture and changing physical environment. I wish that Ms. Cully’s piece had been available for us to read at the moment, an easy interpreta- tion in the Arctic region. But the Inuit Circumpolar Declaration on Arctic Sovereignty (later called the “Inuit Dec- laration”), adopted in 2009 by the Inuit leaders of Greenland, Canada and Alaska, points to the way ahead. I believe that the road to the legal delimitation of these territories and the best way to consolidate fair, ethical and, at the same time, strong governance in the Arctic region (and contain both Rus- sian and Chinese ambitions there) is to recognize and support the sovereignty of the people who have always lived in the region—namely, Inuit sovereignty. The United States can play a very important diplomatic card of deterrence toward foreign and non-NATO powers and, at the same time, reaffirm the civil rights of those populations. International laws arising from the rights of natives in the Arctic region could have a greater value and therefore a greater force of law than territorial agreements that only concern border states such as Russia and China. The latter, in fact, do not involve the human dimension, namely the history and culture of the Indigenous people. It is important to study Inuit culture; methods of approach toward establish- ing a good and fair U.S. “protectorate” of those populations on a diplomatic level; and agreements, not only commercial but also those aimed at further investigations in the field of legal, juridical, territorial, historical and ethnic issues. If the U.S. is able to juggle this plurality of aspects well (on the level of rights, on the cultural level, on the commercial level, etc.), I believe it will be able to achieve much. Tecla Squillaci Teacher Catania, Italy time. I recommend that it be posted on the website of U.S. Embassy Copenhagen and U.S. Consulate Nuuk to help inform future visitors to Greenland. Thanks for your good work on increas- ing awareness of U.S. diplomacy regarding Arctic issues, which is becoming ever more important given expected Arctic trends. John C. Baker Analyst, retired Alexandria, Virginia Arctic Diplomacy on Target Things really came together when my wife, Diana, and I gave our long-sched- uled Great Decisions presentation on the Arctic in mid-May. We could not have anticipated that the current FSJ would be featuring the Arctic, or that the webinar with JimDeHart would occur the day pr ior to our event! Coupled with my own Greenland expe- rience, including my visit to NORAD in 2000 (while also working at AFSA) as Dan- ish interpreter for a Greenlandic delega- tion, AFSA’s timely resources enabled us to give our audience a rare insider look at a topic too often overlooked, as Jim said. Maybe this convergence had something to do with the supermoon? But seriously, thanks to AFSA and the Journal for being ahead of the curve, as usual. WardThompson FSO, retired Penn Valley, California Inuit Declaration and the Way Forward I amwriting to you regarding the article by David Balton, “Advancing U.S. Diplo- macy in the Arctic,” in the May FSJ . The concepts of sovereignty, delimi- tation of marine and terrestrial spaces, navigation law and other aspects of inter- national law do not find, at least for the