Ilulissat (Danish: Jakobshavn from founder Jakob Severin) is a town in the Qaasuitsup municipality in western Greenland, located approximately 200 km (120 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. With the population of 4,546 as of 2010, it is the third-largest settlement in Greenland, after Nuuk and Sisimiut.
In direct translation, Ilulissat is the Greenlandic word for "the icebergs". Ilulissat is Greenland's most popular tourist destination on account of its proximity to the picturesque Ilulissat Icefjord. Tourism is now the town's principal industry.
Ilulissat Icefjord (Kalaallisut: Ilulissat Kangerlua), a fjord southeast of Ilulissat, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Arctic Ocean Conference
The Arctic Ocean Conference was held in Ilulissat between 27 and 29 May 2008. It was hosted by Per Stig Møller, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Hans Enoksen, the Greenlandic Prime Minister. The joint meeting between Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States was held to discuss key issues relating to the Arctic Ocean and climate change.
The Ilulissat Declaration arose from the conference. One of its stated aims was blockage of any "new comprehensive international legal regime to govern the Arctic Ocean". An additional pledge for "the orderly settlement of any possible overlapping claims," was expected as the conference invitation originated in 2007 as a consequence of several jurisdictional disputes, including Hans Island and Arktika 2007.