Who Owns the North Pole?
The political winds have been swirling as of late yet again in regards to ownership over the North Pole, a longstanding controversy among several nations all trying to make a claim they are the rightful owners. In particular, below the frozen ice covered landscape of the North Pole, is an area called the Lomonosov Ridge. This is the particular area of interest that has nations battling for legal rights and a attempting to establish a permanent claim on the land.
Throughout history, there have been various countries that have tried to exert their influence and force the rest of the globe to accept they are the rightful owners. However, no such claim has ever been successfully established and for many years, the situation has been left with a handful of countries that have settled for exploration rights, mainly in areas just outside of the North Pole itself.
The North Pole Controversy Flares Up Yet Again
In recent months, strong statements and political maneuvers by Russia and other nations have yet again begun to stir the issue and it has become a hot topic with nations jockeying for an advantageous political position.
Russia, Canada and Denmark are at the center of the latest flare up and all three nations have made strong assertions as to their rights over the location. Denmark has even claimed their leading scientists have significant data showing the North Pole is actually connected to Denmark via Greenland, giving them natural ownership.
While many may not realize it, portions of land within the North Pole have the potential to be highly valuable as they potentially contain large amounts of rich natural resources. Not to mention whoever ultimately ends up with control over that portion of the world will also control a major waterway with tremendous strategic value in many ways.
A Spider Web of International Law and Precedent
Nations engaged in legal battles over unclaimed land has always been a very complicated issue. The vast amount of international legal statutes, various international agreements, conventions and precedents set in past disputes create a spider web of extremely complex proportions.
This most often results in a web of regulation and precedent much too conflicted and impossible for anyone to decipher with any amount of certainty. There are always a large number of statutes or conventions and international laws which conflict with one another that typically create more of a mess than the situation began with.
There are many elements that countries can try to use within the global legal structure to bolster their cases such as evidence of discovering the land before anyone else, sole possession at some point in history, past occupation, geographical ties and a long list of other evidence-based control factors.
These elements can all make a difference in an actual court proceeding, which brings another issue. There really is no official process in place to carry out a legal process between separate nations. At least, there is no process that actually has enough teeth to make a decision binding on the parties involved.
At the end of the day, this simply leaves pure negotiation among countries to resolve the matter among themselves and then promise to respect the agreement made. This makes any real evidence or legal arguments based on past precedent largely irrelevant, placing a burden on nations to make their best case and use their political influence to the best of their ability.
Who Should Win the Negotiation for Control of the North Pole?
If the world was a sane place and there was no legal process as mentioned above, then it would make sense that the North Pole should be under the control of the nation that can do the greatest amount of good with the land and best provide governance. Based on a set of multiple factors, it seems reasonable to conclude that Denmark should have control and ownership over the North Pole, due to their ability to efficiently govern and produce positive outcomes.
Here are the factors to take into account where Denmark appears to clearly have a significant edge over both Canada and Russia.
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the World Press Freedom Index:
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the Energy Sustainability Index:
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the ICT Development Index:
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the Global Gender Gap Index:
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the Global Competitiveness Index:
Results Indicated by the Latest Release of the Animal Protection Index:
1-Denmark Grade B
2-Canada Grade D
3-Russia Grade F
These situations are never easy and the likelihood that we will see a long-term agreement any time in the near future that actually sticks is extremely unlikely. However, nations around the globe should use a bit of common and sense. They should look at the track record and ability of the nations involved in the dispute and voice their opinion in favor of Denmark having control over the valuable resources the North Pole may offer the world.
If Denmark is, at least, a little savvy, then hopefully they will use their political ties to bring attention to the issues mentioned above and call on the influence of other nations to support them. While Canada would certainly be a preferable over Russia, the records and proven ability to govern over such valuable and sensitive resources is clearly on the side of the Danish people. Of course, it would be a great help if the US would step in to support Denmark but they may make a claim of their own before it is all done with.
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