US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Canada for not inviting Sweden, Finland or Iceland to a conference on climate change in the arctic last month.
As reported, Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told reporters he was not pleased with the decision, saying in part, “I just think it’s the wrong way to go. Canada should rather try to get a consensus from all the nations of the polar region”
Clinton, who addressed an audience at the meeting’s opening, told attendees, “We need all hands on deck because there is a huge amount to do, and not much time to do it. What happens in the Arctic will have broad consequences for the Earth and its climate.” She also said that this included inviting indigenous people to be the conference, who were not asked to attend.
The BBC reports that Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the representatives who had attended the conference had agreed on the need for “deepening cooperation” in the Arctic, in view of increased shipping in the region. Concerns were raised that the five coastal nations of the arctic represented at the conference were trying to form their own special little group, to the exclusion of other arctic countries. Cannon told reporters that this was not the case.
Still, no real explanation nor apology from Canada was forthcoming.