Exploring Common Solutions - Finnish Chairmanship - Arctic Council

Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019

As the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019, Finland emphasized the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Arctic cooperation. During its term, Finland strengthened the Arctic cooperation and its continuity also at the highest political level.

The Arctic Chairmanship rotates among the Arctic States (Finland, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Canada and the USA), each of them assuming the lead position for two years at a time.

During its Chairmanship, Finland contributed to the maintenance of stability and to further strengthen the Arctic cooperation.  Finland reinforced its country brand and raised awareness of its Arctic expertise.

The Chairmanship Team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

In the preparatory phase, Finland consulted the Arctic States and Arctic Indigenous People’s organisations in cooperation with representatives of the central government. Finland’s chairmanship programme focused on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and on sustainable development.

The priorities include environmental protection, meteorological cooperation, connectivity, and education.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs coordinated the activities in collaboration with other ministries and various stakeholders. In issues related to the economy, the Arctic Economic Council was a central partner of cooperation.

Several environmentally sustainable meetings in Finland

Finland organised many meetings at senior official and expert level as well as Arctic conferences and seminars. The last event during Finland’s Chairmanship was the Arctic foreign ministers’ meeting in May 2019 in Rovaniemi.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with WWF Finland developed guidelines on how to arrange environmentally sustainable meetings. These were followed in all Arctic Council meetings organised by the Foreign Ministry in cooperation with various service providers. The guidelines helped in making environmentally friendly choices, for example, in the provision of catering, in procurements and in connection with evening programmes.

















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