IASC 25 years - Page 14

by Odd Rogne « I headed the Norwegian delegation on bila- extended comments on an issue (not simply teral cooperation in the Arctic between Norway saying ‘cheers’). It means that one has to do some and the USSR. The State Committee on Science creative thinking, and when there are more than and Technology (GKNT) was the Soviet coun- twenty Russians and only three Norwegians at terpart. GKNT was an inter-ministerial body and the table, I had to do more creative thinking than close to the Kremlin administration. In addition drinking. In particular, as leader of the Norwegian to bilateral cooperation, related issues could be delegation, most of the toast speeches fell to me discussed. I used this opportunity to inform about on the Norwegian side. the thinking at and after the San Diego meeting as well as the preparation for the Oslo meeting. After several toasts, one tends to get even more The response by the Foreign Affairs member creative. I came to think of the Summit meetings on GKNT was that the Soviet policy allowed for between the presidents of USA and the USSR, bilateral cooperation only. If one had taken that and actually that this circumarctic cooperation we njet for an answer, IASC would have died right had discussed earlier that day should be on their there. However, I noticed positive body language agenda. “What an excellent idea” was the Russian by some members of GKNT when I argued the toast answer, “and we can see to it that it is benefits of the USSR joining the IASC discussions. included in the preparations on our side. Howe- My oral presentation was followed up by sending ver, we have no proper contact on the US side.” IASC material to the Embassy (Minutes from the My answer to that was that I could easily phone Oslo meeting), the Director of GKNT and personal or otherwise inform the Polar Advisor in the US contacts in good positions. I have been informally State Department, whom I had met earlier, and told that this promotion work actually was suc- whom I believed could help on the US side. cessful. The material found its way to President Gorbachev´s speech writer and a short paragraph If anyone should read the communique from the was used in the President´s speech in Murmansk Reykjavik Summit Meeting (between Reagan and 1 October 1987. The speech mentions the “need Gorbachev), they will discover that circumarctic to coordinate research in the Arctic” and “setting cooperation is in there. up a joint Arctic scientific council.” Lesson learned: You never know what a toast in Our next meeting in Moscow on the bilateral Russia can lead to! agreement was a pleasant surprise: On the Soviet side, they were now ready to agree on all points For those interested in text analysis, you will of the bilateral agreement in less than a day, and discover that the sentences used by Gorbachev in to use most of the remaining time to follow up his Murmansk speech are nearly identical to those discussions on the Gorbachev speech in Mur- in the early IASC papers. The same goes for the mansk. It was an excellent opportunity to feed Summit Meeting text, except that ‘cooperation GKNT with arguments and information on the between indigenous peoples’ was added. » needs for and potential benefits of joining the IASC discussions. These discussions were very positive and I was assured that the USSR would be well represented at the next meeting (in Stockholm). The day ended with a splendid Russian dinner. As usual at these dinners, there are many toasts and a tradition of making small speeches or offering 13 00 01 Development 06 Appendices of IASC