Arctic Parliamentary Conference in Inari
The 13th Arctic Parliamentary Conference will be held on 17–19 September in Inari. The Conference will gather nearly 50 members of parliament from the Arctic countries. Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will attend the Conference. In his speech at the event, he will look at Finland's ongoing Arctic Chairmanship.
The main themes of the meeting, which will be held in the premises of the Sámi Parliament in Sajos, will be digitalisation and improvement of connectivity, the impacts of climate change, and questions related to the wellbeing of people in the Arctic. According to the Chair of the Finnish delegation, Katri Kulmuni, MP (Centre Party), the parliamentarians consider matters from the Arctic people's viewpoint. "The aim is to hold a meeting that will increase openness, knowledge and awareness of important Arctic matters," Kulmuni says.
The Conference will gather delegations from the Arctic Council member states (Canada, United States, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russian Federation), national parliaments, and the European Parliament. Invited observers at the Conference will include representatives of inter-parliamentary organisations, parliaments of the Arctic Council's observer states, and central international organisations.
The Conference is organised every two years, and the Chairmanship rotates between the Arctic Council member states.
At the Conference, parliamentarians will prepare a Conference Statement with recommendations, adopted by consensus, to be submitted to the Arctic Council and the governments of the eight Arctic countries and the European Commission. The Conference Statement is a joint declaration in which the parliamentarians establish goals for intergovernmental cooperation.
Katri Kulmuni, Chair of the Finnish delegation, believes that consensus on a joint Conference Statement will be reached also this year. "There are no big issues to be debated on the agenda and we will reach an understanding on the formulation of the text," Kulmuni considers.
As far as Finland's Arctic expertise is concerned, Kulmuni expects that meteorology will be one of the matters that will be discussed. "We have much expertise that could be more widely used in the Arctic region.
The delegates accompanying Kulmuni at the Parliamentary Conference are Johanna Ojala-Niemelä (Vice-Chair, Social Democratic Party), Tiina Elovaara (Blue Reform), Markus Lohi (Centre Party) and Mari-Leena Talvitie (National Coalition).
Parliamentary instrument for Arctic cooperation
It is formed by representatives of the parliaments of the Arctic Council member states and the European Parliament
The Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) is officially an observer member of the Arctic Council.
Each Conference gives recommendations for goals of Arctic cooperation to the Arctic Council and its' member states' governments.