IASC 25 years - Page 18

The Moscow Meeting been ongoing between members of these two The meeting was well prepared based on earlier countries prior to the Stockholm meeting. Some IASC material, and the Chairman had circulated a full revisions to the Moscow draft were accepted. Fur- draft text of a potential report. Most of the draft thermore, it was time for the five-member Working text was easy to agree on or modify. It was more Group (WG) to report back to all eight Arctic coun- a question of ‘fine tuning,’ as Canada and the USSR tries, informing them of the current version of the had nominated senior persons from their ministries text, asking them for comments, and suggesting of foreign affairs; i.e., not having attended earlier that all eight countries nominate a member to the IASC meetings. IASC Planning Group.9 The meeting was held 12-14 July 1988 at the In- As a follow-up to the Gorbachev speech in Murmansk, stitute of Geography, Russian Academy of Science a major international Arctic science conference was (RAS) and produced the document “Proposal for an being planned for December 1988 in Leningrad, Organizational Structure of an International Arctic USSR. As all working group members planned to Science Committee (IASC).” The main obstacle was attend this conference, it was agreed that a meet- reaching an agreement on non-Arctic representa- ing of the IASC Planning group would be held in ad- tives becoming full members of the IASC Council. vance of that conference. At the Leningrad meeting, A compromise was reached with the inclusion of a 10-11 December 1988, the Planning Group agreed footnote, and thereafter we were able to enjoy a on a revised version (see: IASC. 1988. Founding Arti- good dinner. cles, Leningrad 10-11 December 198810). This text 8 was then circulated to all eight countries asking for However, this footnote lasted only some hours, as national comments by appropriate, national bodies. the Chairman was called to the Legal department of These comments are summarized in “IASC—Survey the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs the next day. of Comments.”11 During that meeting, the Head of the department made it abundantly clear that this footnote was not acceptable to the USSR. A heated discussion ensued, in which the main reasons for having non-Arctic countries as equal partners on the IASC Council were presented. The message was clear; we had to prepare for a new round of discussions in the IASC Planning Group. The next meeting of the Planning Group was held 22-23 October 1988 in Stockholm