Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 309

309 Arctic Yearbook 2015 Closing Thoughts Taken together, these policy prescriptions should build governing linkages in the Arctic region that expand, strengthen, and reinforce the current governing structure. The author remains committed to the Arctic Council serving as the core governing nucleus in the region; however, cooperation does not know boundaries and cannot remain a regional undertaking. Elegant regimes are not constructed overnight – ASEAN took a half-century to get where it is today – and Arctic states should take advantage of the momentum driving interest in the region. Through the same informality and minimalism that has allowed ASEAN to accumulate regional sway, the Arctic states should work toward formalizing a nascent “Arctic Way” defined by inclusiveness, non-interference, and peaceful cooperation. Conclusion: toward an Arctic way There is great potential above the Arctic ice, not just below. Within the space of three decades, the Arctic Council, states, indigenous groups, and epistemic community have done a remarkable job of creating a robust governing structure. These regimes have the flexibility to grow; yet there has been an aversion to creating parallel and synergistic governing structures in the region. Instead, loose cooperative arrangements between states, and a series of non-binding governing agreements, have come to populate the space. The Arctic community can, and will, do more, and hopefully these actions will parallel those suggested in this discussion. And while the prescriptions explored serve to reinforce existing structures and expand regional capabilities, we must recognize that there can be no silver bullet for the present lack of a cohesive Arctic vision. This author identifies an “Arctic Way” as the end goal for all stakeholders in the region. Those who call the Circumpolar North home should work to rise above regional divisions and build a vibrant identity of inclusiveness and cooperation. An “Arctic Way” vision will live up to the promise the region holds and capture the spirit and hope – in a word momentum – that has so recently come to define the Arctic. Returning to the words of David Mitrany, “Peace will not be secured if we organise the world by what divides it” (Mitrany 1992: 503). The time \