NEWS: Around the Arctic July 01, 2010 - 11:54 am
Inuit Circumpolar Council acclaims new leader
ICC general assembly gives "unanimous consent" to Aqqaluk Lynge
According to an ICC biography, Lynge started his professional career as a social worker after graduating from the National Danish School of Social Work in 1976.
For several years, he was a radio broadcaster, until he entered Greenland politics.
Lynge, one of the founders of the Inuit Ataqatigiit Party, was first elected to the Greenland parliament in 1983 and has served as a member of parliament and as a minister of various portfolios.
Lynge is also an author, having written books of poetry and essays, and has also contributed to several works and anthologies written in the English, Greenlandic, French and Nordic languages.
Lynge was instrumental in bringing Russian Inuit into the ICC family when, as early as 1985, he travelled to Moscow in the former Soviet Union to lobby for their inclusion into ICC.
Lynge is a member of the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues.
He lives in Nuuk, Greenland with his Erna and their two children.
Speaking to the ICC meeting on June 1, Lynge vowed to help Inuit realize their destiny.
“Our destiny is in our hands,” he said, outlining his vision of a future with healthy and happy children, clean water, respected and involved elders, “a modest and sustainable economy,” and a “strong social fabric.”
Lynge called on Inuit to ensure that companies who want to develop Arctic resources keep the environment clean, train local workers and respect Inuit rights. He urged everyone to make sure their political leaders develop projects that are “good for Inuit.”
As Lynge finished speaking, he thanked his family, who joined him on stage, and then invited everyone in the assembly to hold hands.
“We stand together now…let’s take our hands and be given strength… we are Inuit and we will always be there.”
Before the assembly ended, Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, received the Bill Edmunds award, the highest award ICC hands out during its general assemblies.
ICC meets again in 2014 in Canada.
As one of its last orders of business, delegates at the ICC assembly also passed the Nuuk Declaration, which outlines its objectives for the next four years.
Quoted from the Nuk Declaration:
"...Recognizing that universal human rights instruments including the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide, including those of Inuit are still not fully acknowledged nor implemented and Inuit must continue to work alongside others to achieve the goal of full recognition of Inuit rights;
Noting the recent increased developments at the international level affecting Inuit, and the rapid and exponential growth of interest and external activity in the Arctic by powerful states, industry, researchers, and special interests over the past four years will undoubtedly continue and will require considerable attention and vigilance from ICC into the next four years;
Recognizing the disaster unfolding from off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and further recognizing the fragility of the Arctic environment and how any significant oil spill would be catastrophic for Inuit and finally that resource extraction industries are increasingly aiming to exploit offshore and onshore resource development:...:
Read the full Nuuk Declaration, posted below by NUNATSIAQ NEWS:
Nuuk 2010 Declaration