||The goal of this brief account has
been to frame a set of issues rather than to offer any simple answers.
The outpouring of interest in international cooperation in the Circumpolar
North during the last ten to fifteen years is a remarkable occurrence.
It has gone far toward putting the high latitudes of the Northern
Hemisphere - split until recently by Cold War rivalries and segmented
by core/periphery relations - onto the map as a distinct region
in international society. This is good news, especially for the
residents of the Arctic whose interests are often poorly served
by the actions of policymakers located in southern capitals. But
it has also created a sizable agenda of relatively specific issues
relating to the form and content of international cooperation in
this region. None of these issues will be simple or easy to solve.
Yet none of them appears to be insoluble, especially in a setting
in which there is a growing reservoir of good will and a sense of
momentum regarding the course of regional affairs. As a result,
the Arctic enters the next millennium as an area of great interest
for practitioners and scholars interested in international cooperation.
The next decade promises to be a period of both continued growth
and consolidation with regard to the international relations of
the Circumpolar North.