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The voice of the Inuit in Greenland cold fall silent if that country’s parliament does not take steps to counter a decision to slash the budget of ICC Greenland by 1 million kroner ($184,000) a year for the next four years.
The move would see the Greenlandic parliament gut its annual contribution to the ICC from 5.4 million kroner to 1.4 million in 2018.
Addressing the organisation’s annual general meeting last week, president Aqqaluk Lynge said the cuts, passed last year and which take effect this year, were so deep that it threatened ICC Greenland’s participation in the quadrennial international ICC General Assembly later this year.
ICC – an abbreviation for Inuit Circumpolar Council – is an international organsiation made up of national chapters from Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Chukotka, Russia. It sits on the Arctic Council as a so-called permanent participant, which allows it to participate in discussions, but does not give it the right to vote. The organisation has also been granted consulative status at the UN.
Unless it gets its funding restored, Lynge said, ICC Greenland will not be able to afford to pay its contributions to the parent organisation.
“We have tried to operate as a volunteer organisation without support from the national budget, but that’s just not realistic in 2014,” Lynge said. “Right now, the most responsible thing we can do is prepare to shut down.”