Last month, I stayed in the charming city of Tromsø in northern Norway for about two weeks to participate and give a presentation at the Eleventh Polar Law Symposium. Of course, it was also an opportunity to visit and conduct research on the Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS), which is at the heart of my research.
In my presentation at the Polar Law Symposium, I introduced the history, main functions and actual activities of the ACS. The comments and questions I received from distinguished scholars and interested (and interesting) students, provided valuable feedback and helped me broaden my outlook. Besides the Symposium, I also visited the Arctic Council Secretariat where I had the chance to conduct an interview with its director and staff. After the Symposium, I also organized a workshop.
Through my research in Tromsø, I could find out that the ACS has strengthened the administrative skills of the AC by dealing, inter alia, with national reports from Arctic States and Observer states. The ACS is, moreover, now leading the external activities of the Council, and as such, the Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat attended the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21). During the said conference, he moderated the event focused on black carbon and methane and promoted the role of Arctic Council on these issues．
Obviously, this trip has greatly contributed to my research and I wish to give my deepest gratitude to the ArCS projects which supported my research under the northern lights, and everyone who has supported my work in Tromsø.
Sakiko Hataya (Kobe University)