Dhaka, Bangladesh
Greenland should be administered by UN

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Greenland should be administered by UN

The recent offer of Donald Trump of paying Denmark to acquire control over Greenland was atrocious and for good reason was not even considered seriously by the Danish government. This even led to the cancellation of a planned visit of President Trump to Denmark. Although Denmark controls the foreign policy and security of this vast island, Greenland has been steadily moving towards autonomy and self-government. Greenland took a decision (much before Brexit) to move out of European Union while Denmark remained in EU. However, it is not difficult to understand why the USA is keen to acquire Greenland. In fact, even President Harry Truman had made an offer in 1946 to purchase Greenland for $100 million. This offer was refused, but Denmark later succumbed to American pressure to set up military bases in Greenland, including a nuclear-powered station, Camp Century. With its strategic location close to Russia as well as the USA, Greenland remains of great military interest to the USA. This is a factor which has acquired more importance recently with the accentuation of big power rivalries. In addition, Greenland is a source of precious mineral sources, including gold and rare earths. The opening up of these rare earth deposits to China is something which the western powers would like to stop, given the fact that China already has high levels of control over rare earths. Greenland has a population of just 57,000 people in its vast territory of 836,330 sq. miles and has the lowest population density in the world. This Arctic region is highly sensitive from the ecological point of view, a sensitivity which has increased further in times of climate change. As the ice sheets which cover vast areas melt under the influence of global warming, buried carbon deposits will be released and sea levels will rise. The region’s unique biodiversity including polar bears and seals will be badly threatened. Hence there is a strong case for all of Greenland to be administered by the United Nations as a zone of neutrality, peace and environment protection. Under such an arrangement, ecologically protective livelihoods and basic facilities will be ensured by a UN administered programme which will treat the entire island as an area of ecological protection where any exploitation of natural resources will be strictly controlled, and no military installation will be allowed. In addition, there ought to be a careful and well-planned effort for undoing the damage already done.

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