Legislation Establishes Assistant Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined in introducing the bipartisan Arctic Diplomacy Act of 2021, legislation led by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that will strengthen national security by elevating Arctic issues in U.S. foreign policy. The bill establishes an Assistant Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs who will lead and conduct U.S. foreign policy in the Arctic region and on Arctic issues.
“We have steadily seen the Arctic emerge as one of the next frontiers for national security,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to work with Senator Murkowski to take proactive steps to protect and promote U.S. security interests in the Arctic region through the creation of an Assistant Secretary of State for Arctic Affairs. As China and Russia aggressively assert themselves in the region and the impact of climate change takes hold, the U.S. must take action to make sure that we are fully prepared to act as threats arise.”
The Senate confirmed position will be responsible for influencing decisions and behavior of Arctic nations, Arctic issues, and activities in the Arctic region which includes establishing an Arctic diplomacy strategy; strengthening cooperation among Arctic countries; promoting responsible natural resource management and economic development; scientific monitoring and research; protecting the Arctic environment and conserving its biological resources; and Arctic indigenous knowledge and input.
Senator Hassan recently joined in introducing Arctic Security Initiative Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation requiring the Department of Defense to conduct a security assessment of the Arctic region and establish an Arctic Security Initiative with a five-year plan to fully resource the DOD and individual service-specific strategies for the Arctic that have been released over the past several years.