“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Speaker: Amb. David A. Balton, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
The Central Arctic Ocean has essentially been ice-covered year-round since the dawn of human history … until now. As a result of climate change, a growing portion of the Arctic Ocean is ice-free for an increasing part of the year, making it possible to contemplate the advent of high seas fisheries in the region. But on October 3, 2018, nine nations and the European Union signed an unusual international agreement that will effectively postpone the start of such fisheries and will instead launch a joint program of scientific research for the Arctic. David Balton, who chaired the negotiations that produced this agreement, will describe the geopolitical forces that made the agreement possible, outline the agreement's basic elements, and consider the place of the agreement in the growing architecture for governing the Arctic Ocean.
Amb. Balton co-chaired the Arctic Council Task Forces that produced the 2011 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic and the 2013 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. He separately chaired negotiations that produced the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.
RSVP by 5 PM, Tuesday, November 6