SEPTEMBER 19, 2005, NEW YORK
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Pierre S. Pettigrew, and the
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Per Stig Møller, met today, September
19, 2005, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York,
to reaffirm our excellent, long-standing bilateral relations as friends, allies
and Arctic neighbours. The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs was accompanied
by the Deputy Premier of Greenland, Josef Motzfeldt. Mr. Larry Bagnell, Member
of Parliament for the Yukon, accompanied Minister Pettigrew.
Together, we reviewed many of the issues which will be addressed at this General Assembly and on which we are close partners, including climate change, effective multilateralism, transatlantic relations, counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. We also took note of the upcoming 60th anniversary this December of the establishment of our diplomatic relations.
We have much in common, and we have worked together over many years in advancing the welfare of the Arctic region and its peoples. Through the Arctic Council and other means, we already collaborate closely on challenges facing the Arctic and the North, such as climate change, resource extraction and transport. We also expressed our satisfaction at the recent launch of our joint project to map the seabed of the Arctic Ocean.
We acknowledge that we hold very different views on the question of the sovereignty of Hans Island. This is a territorial dispute which has persisted since the early 1970s, when agreement was reached on the maritime boundary between Canada and Greenland. We underscore that this issue relates only to the island as such, and has no impact on that agreement.
Firmly committed as we are to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including territorial disputes, we consistently support this principle here at the United Nations, and around the world. To this end, we will continue our efforts to reach a long-term solution to the Hans Island dispute. Our officials will meet again in the near future to discuss ways to resolve the matter, and will report back to Ministers on their progress.
While we pursue these efforts, we have decided that, without prejudice to our respective legal claims, we will inform each other of activities related to Hans Island. Likewise, all contact by either side with Hans Island will be carried out in a low key and restrained manner.
We will continue to pursue our common goal of ensuring the sustainable development of the Arctic region to the benefit of all, and in the tradition of cooperation in the region between our scientists we will explore the feasibility of joint scientific projects on or in the area of Hans Island. Such projects might fall within the research being planned in the context of the International Polar Year 2007-08.