Multiple states have competing claims for jurisdiction over the North Pole
As Russia, Denmark and Canada vie to stake their claims, a complicating factor is that a fourth country, the United States, has conducted research on how far the continental shelf extends from Alaska toward the North Pole and could potentially stake its own claim. However, the U.S. cannot submit any of its evidence because it is not a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Norway, a fifth country that could conceivably have a territorial claim to the North Pole, has said that it will not pursue any claim under UNCLOS.
Russian officials are making repeated statements about the government's intent to claim jurisdiction over the North Pole through a coming submission of evidence to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under UNCLOS. The submission will be a continuation of one made to the commission in 2001, which the panel determined insufficient. Russia was directed to resubmit its evidence “within a reasonable time.”
Canada and Denmark likely won't be far behind, claiming in recent submissions to the commission that they each will soon submit evidence that their continental shelves extend to the North Pole.
Canada made a partial submission to the commission on Dec. 9, 2013, on delineating its outer continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean. It did not include data about the North Pole, but specifically reserved Canada's right to make a submission of such evidence in the future.
Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada are staking their claims to Arctic resources but the United States, which has conducted research on how far the continental shelf extends from Alaska toward the North Pole, cannot submit any of its evidence because it is not a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).