The HuSArctic research project, in cooperation with the Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, had organized an international seminar bringing a number of outstanding Arctic legal experts. The main focus of the seminar was to introduce various aspects of security discourses prevailing in the region and how such discourses interact with human security. The highlights of the seminar are as follows:
Mr. Segunin analyzed human security in Russia from a number of theoretical approaches using valued-based, interest-based and concluding that between 2008-2013 Russia had a hybrid or mixed approach, which is a combination of the two. Furthermore, he analyzed the Russian discourse in the arctic in terms of both the Securitized and de-securitized aproach, of which Russia’s strategy has both aspects. Mr. Sergunin looked further into the different paradigms and their contribution to human security: realism/neorealism, liberals/neoliberals, and globalist/traditional. However, the intigrated approach, which a mixture of everything, is the one that is gaining a lot of momentum right now.
Ms. Cassotta discussed the element of climate change as an emerging threat to international peace and security. More specifically as a, “threat multiplier,” where the impacts can lead to inter-state or military tensions. She also talks of the nexus of climate change and human security in international law. Ms. Cassotta proposes that the most effective way to regulate this nexus, in order to maintain and avoid conflicts in the Arctic, is to look at the global level or in this case at the United Nations. Improvement at the UN level would likely have “cascading effects” of transition effects through the Arctic Council/NAITO and onto Arctic and Non-Arctic States, suggesting for an interdisciplinary approach.
Mr. Ren started out by suggesting key issues that need to be resolved, such as: China’s potential attitudes, possible policies-strategies, political dynamics, role for cooperation etc. He then breaksdown his research into three parts, where more detail is looked into China’s aspirations and influence in the Arctic through different methods and processes. Mr. Ren concludes, the main drivers to China’s Arctic Policy is: Energy attractivness, the golden waterway, military strategic value, and research, with the golden waterway as the top of this priority.
Ms. Salminen’s presentation on cyber security brought about much discussion on its relation to human security. She points out the dependency our society for technologies and the aspect of security to protect our identity and human information. However, there are many different defintions, from national and non-governmental organizations, on the meaning of cyber security. A balancing of security and privacy/rights where often a tradeoff between security and rights where these two terms are in real contridiction. She says often the individual is left out of the discussion and there is a need to change the perspective where the individual is not regarded as the weakest link in cyber security. Also, the way we percieve security needs to change, as positive and not only threats. Lastly, there are questions of access, skills and availability products and services that come into play.
Mr. Zojer had just spent a number of days in Mirny, Russia and was excited to share his experiences with us. He talks of diamond mining in the city which was built in the 1950s by the company Alrosa. Through this he outlines some of the challeneges, environmental impact, challenges, social impact assessment and the on-going current developments in the city. In conclusion, he noted on how interesting extractive industries shape and reform not only cities by the entire region that they operate in.