Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark, together with Greenland, reach historic agreement on long-standing boundary disputes
June 14, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Today, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Jeppe Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, along with Múte B. Egede, Prime Minister of Greenland, signed an agreement in Ottawa resolving outstanding boundary issues over Tartupaluk (Hans Island); the maritime boundary on the continental shelf within 200 nautical miles, including the Lincoln Sea; and the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Labrador Sea.
Inuit of Nunavut and Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) were consulted during the negotiations for this agreement. It maintains the traditional, symbolic and historic significance of Tartupaluk both to Inuit in Kalaallit Nunaat, in particular in Avanersuaq, and to Inuit in Nunavut and will ensure the continued access to and freedom of movement on the entirety of the island.
This agreement is a significant historic milestone in the relationship between friends and neighbours and is the culmination of years of discussions. The efforts deployed to reach this outcome demonstrate their leadership in the region and commitment to resolve disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law.
The land boundary on Tartupaluk reflects the strong historic and cultural relations between communities in Canada and Greenland. It paves the way for stronger cooperation and the establishment of an even closer partnership between them.
“The Arctic is a beacon for international cooperation, where the rule of law prevails. As global security is being threatened, it’s more important than ever for democracies like Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark to work together alongside Indigenous peoples, to resolve our differences in accordance with international law.”
- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“This truly is a historic day. We have discussed the sovereignty of Tartupaluk for more than 50 years. After intensified negotiations over the past few years, we have now reached a solution. Our efforts demonstrate our firm common commitment to resolve international disputes peacefully. I hope that our negotiation and the spirit of this agreement may inspire others. This is much needed at a time when respect for the international rules-based order is under pressure.”
- Jeppe Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
“The boundary on Tartupaluk will mark the very close ties between our countries, people and culture. It will signal the beginning of a closer partnership and cooperation between us in areas of shared interest and of particular benefit to Inuit and local people living in Avanersuaq, Kalaallit Nunaat, and Nunavut, Canada.”
- Múte B. Egede, Prime Minister of Greenland
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Kingdom of Denmark
Sissel Christine Søe
Acting Head of Press
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Legal Service—Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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