The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW LONDON, Conn.) — A joint statement, officially establishing the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF), was signed today by leaders representing all eight coast guard agencies of the Arctic nations.
The Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure, and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. Membership includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States.
“The United States is proud to join fellow Arctic nations at this inaugural Arctic Coast Guard Forum,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “The Arctic is crucial to our shared security, and this declaration underscores our commitment to cooperating with our international partners as we navigate this challenging and changing region.”
“Today’s historic Arctic Coast Guard Forum represents a critical step forward in our collective efforts to promote safety, security and environmentally-responsible maritime activity in the Arctic,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “As the ocean becomes more accessible to human activity, all Arctic nations have committed to enhancing maritime cooperation in this remote and challenging environment.”
The signing ceremony marked the successful conclusion of a summit held at the United States Coast Guard Academy on Oct. 28-30. The ACGF will reconvene for an Experts Meeting in spring 2016.