The Arctic Council has provided a forum for the negotiation of two important legally binding agreements among the eight Arctic states.
Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic
At the 2009 Ministerial Meeting in Tromsø, Norway Ministers mandated the creation of a Task Force to develop an international instrument for cooperation on search and rescue operations in the Arctic. This led to the first ever legally binding agreement to be negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council, which was signed at the Nuuk Ministerial meeting in 2011, and came into force in January, 2013.
Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic
At the 2011 Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk, Ministers mandated a Task Force to prepare an international instrument on Arctic marine oil pollution preparedness and response. This led to the second legally binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The agreement was signed at the Kiruna Ministerial meeting in May 2013.
To read the Agreement on the Cooperation of Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic click here.
Appendix IV: Operational Guidelines for the agreement, as developed and maintained by the EPPR working group