The Premier of the Northwest Territories is welcoming the Government of Canada’s recent submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
Bob McLeod says ensuring Canada’s Arctic rights are recognized within international law is an important component of further strengthening Canada’s position in the Arctic, along with supporting the development of the region including its people and governments.
The submission essentially extends Canada’s continental shelf claim in the Arctic Ocean.
“The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) offers its support of Canada’s extended continental shelf submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on May 23rd,” McLeod stated in a news release issued Wednesday. “This process will help recognize Canada’s sovereign rights overs the natural resources of the continental shelf as well as jurisdiction over activities such as marine scientific research. The people of the NWT look forward to having a role in the management of their Arctic waters.”
McLeod goes on to note that the submission is the culmination of years of work by scientific, technical and legal teams from Global Affairs Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada and is the beginning of a process that will likely take many more years to complete.
He adds that the GNWT recognizes the ongoing importance of international cooperation to advance this science-based work, and has appreciated technical briefings over the years as the submission was developed.
“As international interest in the Arctic continues to increase, including interest in Arctic resources and Arctic shipping routes, the GNWT welcomes Canada’s efforts to assert and clarify its rights in the region,” McLeod states. “Arctic residents, including NWT residents, have a direct interest in seeing Canada continuing to invest in sustainable, safe and secure communities here and look forward to working with the federal government to enhance Canada’s Arctic presence, capabilities and prominence.”
There are four other countries who lay claim to parts of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean – the U.S., Norway, Denmark and Russia.