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S.270 - United States Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs Act of 2013
A bill to amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to establish a United States Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR ARCTIC AFFAIRS.
‘SEC. 63. UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR ARCTIC AFFAIRS.
‘(B) is home to an indigenous population that has subsisted for millennia on the abundance of marine mammals, fish, and wildlife, many species of which are unique to the Arctic region;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) has produced more than 16,000,000,000 barrels of oil, and, according to the United States Geological Service, holds 30,000,000,000 barrels of oil and 220 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making the region fundamentally important to the interest of the United States;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) the Arctic ice pack is rapidly diminishing and thinning, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the Arctic Ocean may be ice free during the summer months in as few as 30 years;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(5) these changes are having a significant impact on the communities and ecosystems of the indigenous people of the Arctic, and the marine mammals, fish, and wildlife upon which the indigenous population depends;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(6) these changes are opening new portions of the Arctic continental shelf of the United States to possible development for offshore oil and gas, commercial fishing, marine shipping, and tourism;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(7) increased industrial development and commercial activity in the Arctic region requires a heightened diplomatic presence to address important issues that involve the United States and Pan-Arctic countries or the Arctic Council;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(8) the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum established in 1996, includes representatives from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States and 6 Permanent Participants who represent the indigenous peoples of the Arctic;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(D) is committed to sustainable economic and social development in the Arctic region, improving health conditions in the Arctic region, and fostering cultural well-being in the Arctic region; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(E) is committed to protecting the Arctic environment, including Arctic ecosystems, biodiversity in the Arctic region, and the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic natural resources;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(10) other Arctic countries are pursuing claims for Arctic seabed resources under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 10, 1982;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(11) the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommends closing commercial fishing operations in the Arctic waters of the United States until sustainable fishing is scientifically determined, an action that will only be effective with cooperation from neighboring Arctic countries;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(12) increased commercial activity in the Arctic region raises concerns regarding national security, environmental protection, and the cultural and subsistence needs of indigenous communities;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(14) the United States has not established an Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs, who would enhance the ability of the United States to respond quickly and appropriately to issues of mutual interest to the Arctic Council and Arctic countries generally.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(b) Establishment- There is established within the Department of State an Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs (referred to in this section as the ‘Ambassador’), appointed under subsection (c).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION- Subject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of State, the Ambassador is authorized to represent the United States in matters and cases relevant to Arctic affairs in--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) contacts with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and specialized agencies of the United Nations, the Arctic Council, and other international organizations of which the United States is a member; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) ADVISORY ROLE- The Ambassador shall be a principal adviser to the President and the Secretary of State regarding matters affecting Arctic affairs and shall make recommendations regarding the policies of the United States relating to Arctic affairs.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink