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1st White House Arctic Science Ministerial Held in Washington D.C.

On September 28, 2016, the first White House Arctic Science Ministerial was held in Washington D.C. The meeting was hosted by the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, an inter-agency department under the US federal government. John Holdren, Assistant to the US President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, chaired the meeting. France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other officials served as the vice chairs of the meeting and the chairpersons of panel discussions. A total of 25 countries and regions, including the eight Arctic countries (the US, Russia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland) and major countries involved in Arctic research (the UK, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, ROK, Spain, Poland, etc.) sent high-level delegations to the meeting. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of indigenous groups of the Arctic region.

To enhance international cooperation in Arctic science, research, observation, monitoring, and data-sharing, the meeting focused on four key themes: Arctic science challenges and their regional and global implications; strengthening and integrating Arctic observation and data sharing; applying expanded scientific understanding of the Arctic to build regional resilience and shape global responses; Arctic science as a vehicle for STEM education and citizen empowerment. The meeting adopted and signed the Joint Statement of Ministers, which captured the political consensus of countries to enhance cooperation on Arctic science, and produced 15 technical outcomes and initiatives on the key themes.

Minister Counselor Chen Futao of the Science and Technology Section of the Chinese Embassy to the US attended the meeting as the representative of Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang and signed the Joint Statement of Ministers on his behalf.