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Press release: Common Arctic search and rescue service agreed

An Arctic search and rescue (SAR) agreement was signed today in Nuuk by the Member States of the Arctic Council. This was the first legally binding agreement signed in the 15-year history of the Arctic Council

“Greenland is extremely pleased that the SAR Agreement has been finalised. We’ve been waiting a long time for such an Agreement and therefore we’re happy that a formal agreement has now been made for who is to do what in relation to search and rescue actions. The agreement is an important step in the development of the Arctic Council, and it underpins the relevance and strength of the Council”, said Kuupik Kleist, Premier for Naalakkersuisut.

The SAR Agreement is based on a number of international search and rescue agreements, and it confirms the obligations of States to help, immediately and unconditionally, those in distress after an accident at sea or in the air. The Agreement also establishes possibilities for further operative collaboration, amongst other things in exercises, as well as exchange of experience and information. At the same time improved communications and cooperation processes between States have been established. The parties to the agreement are also committed to regular meetings, and this is an important factor in securing realisation and further development of the Agreement.

The Agreement also details the operational areas of the various Member States by precisely stating coordinates. Under the Danish Realm, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands also signed the Agreement together with Denmark.
For further information, please contact:
Premier for Naalakkersuisut Kuupik Kleist, telephone no. +299 345000.

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