Kirkenes II Declaration – all stakeholders invited to contribute

 The 20th Anniversary of the Barents Cooperation next year provides an excellent opportunity to review the achievements of 20 years of cooperation, and to set out future priorities based on contemporary challenges and potentials and the experience that the many participants in the cooperation now have.
–  All stakeholders – national and regional, as well as other organizations participating in the cooperation – are welcome to contribute with ideas to the Kirkenes II Declaration, underlines Norwegian diplomat Sverre Jervell, in charge of preparing the draft declaration.
In January 2013 it will be 20 years since the Kirkenes Declaration on Cooperation in the Barents Euro‐Arctic Region was signed. Under the Norwegian Chairmanship of the Barents Euro‐Arctic Council (BEAC), a meeting between the Prime Ministers of the Council will be held Kirkenes, June 3-4, 2013 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Barents Cooperation where the Ministers will also sign the Kirkenes II Declaration.

Efforts to draw up the Kirkenes Declaration in 1992–93 began with the establishment of an informal working group at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In close contact with the other countries the working group developed concepts and ideas that were later included in the formal discussions on the Kirkenes Declaration leading up to the Conference of Foreign Ministers in Kirkenes in January 1993.
–   Preparing for the Kirkenes II Declaration, an informal working group has again been appointed at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but this time 20 years of experience from close cooperation both on national and regional levels creates an ever more solid foundation for a fruitful preparation process, says Jervell who is heading the new informal working group.
In fall, 2012, the group will submit a draft declaration to the Norwegian BEAC Chairmanship which may then be used in a consultation process on civil servants level between the Norwegian chairmanship and other actors in the Cooperation. The result of the consultations will be passed on to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs who is chairing BEAC in 2012-2013.

The new Declaration will not replace the 1993 Declaration as it will continue to form the very basis for the Barents Cooperation also in the future. Instead, Kirkenes II Declaration will focus on the contemporary aspects. It has not yet been decided as to whether the Kirkenes II will be a political declaration or a declaration in more legal terms.

The informal working group would welcome any ideas and input. Suggestions should be sent to the group’s email address: Kirkenes‐
Contact person: Elin Hellum, tel. +47 99005927, Mail:
The 20th Anniversary will also be celebrated in Kirkenes , in January 2013. BarentSaga will come back to these events in later issues.

Signing of the the Kirkenes Declaration, January 11,1993, Kirkenes. From left to right: Jorgen Ostrom Moller,
Andrej Kozyrev, Paavo Väyrynen, Torvald Stoltenberg, Margaretha af Ugglas, Jon Sigurdsson, Anaurin Rhys Hughes