The Arctic Council has provided a forum for the negotiation of three important legally binding agreements among the eight Arctic States.
Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation (signed 2017)
At the 8th Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, in 2013, Ministers of the Arctic States mandated the creation of a Task Force "to work towards an arrangement on improved scientific research cooperation among the eight Arctic States". The culmination of this work came at the 10th Ministerial meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11 May 2017, with the signature of the "Agreement on Enhancing international Arctic Scientific Cooperation".
The Fairbanks Declaration (10th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, 2017)
The Iqaluit Declaration (9th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, 2015)
The Kiruna Declaration (8th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, 2013)
Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (signed 2013)
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.
Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic (signed 2011)
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.