Emory International Law Review


The Arctic Council's decision in 2013 to admit six new non-Arctic states as permanent observers symbolically legitimized the interests of peripheral actors in the region. Still, non-Arctic states remain significantly disadvantaged with respect to actually pursuing their Arctic interests. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, most of the Arctic's resources and both currently-accessible Arctic shipping routes are exclusively controlled by the littoral Arctic states. Regional actors likewise dominate arctic governance, as non-Arctic states are denied speaking and voting privileges at the Arctic Council. These disparities not only harm the interests of non-Arctic states, but also undermine the effectiveness of the Arctic Council. Consequently, a more inclusive, international approach to Arctic governance is necessary to address the challenges of a globalized Arctic.