Hans Island, often known as Tartupaluk in Inuktitut, has been the topic of a good-natured deadlock since 1973 when Canada and Denmark established a border via the Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, however failed to succeed in an settlement in regards to the uninhabited outcrop.
Since then, the dispute has been dubbed the “Whisky Struggle,” as a consequence of army ships visiting the island and planting flags and bottles of Canadian whiskey or Danish schnapps to mark their territory.
“I feel it was the friendliest of all wars,” Joly mentioned, joking that she hopes Canada will now be capable to take part within the Eurovision music contest as a consequence of its land border with Europe. She and Danish Overseas Affairs Minister Jeppe Kofod exchanged bottles of liquor on the ceremony in a nod to the custom.
However the settlement was signed towards the backdrop of one other struggle, which each events have been at pains to spotlight.
“It sends a message to the world, together with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, that when there are belongings you’re disputing over, you need to make the decision based mostly on worldwide regulation — not by the regulation of power, however by the power of regulation,” mentioned Kofod.
Greenland Prime Minister Múte B. Egede known as the deal a “stepping stone to really join our two nations,” however added there needs to be extra mobility for Inuit folks between Nunavut and Greenland.
The settlement will protect freedom of motion on the island for Inuit folks, for looking, fishing and different actions.
The deal “represents the peaceable decision of a territorial dispute, at a time when Western nations are emphasizing the need of peaceable decision to territorial disputes in Ukraine, in Taiwan, within the South China Sea,” mentioned Michael Byers, political science professor on the College of British Columbia, in an interview. “It’s … a small alternative to say and do the appropriate factor.”
Byers mentioned up to now, each nations have used the island to drum up public sentiment about Arctic sovereignty — typically sending troopers or ministers to go to simply earlier than election campaigns.
However on Tuesday, Joly mentioned it’s crucial to “preserve the Arctic a low-tension area.”
“We can not fall into the entice of militarizing the Arctic,” she mentioned.
Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. — the authorized consultant of the Inuit of Nunavut for treaty rights — mentioned she welcomes the settlement however confused that Inuit are “one nation that transcend many worldwide borders.”
“Arctic nations wouldn’t be Arctic nations with out us, Inuit Arctic peoples,” she mentioned.
Byers mentioned the existence of a land border with Europe is basically a “novelty,” although Arctic cruise ships might take well-heeled vacationers to go to. A authorities backgrounder says a “sensible and workable border-implementation regime will likely be established for all guests,” however offers no particulars.