New web site opened for the Arctic Council in Finland

Finland has assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council as of October 2000. Arctic Council Secretariat functions as well as website maintenance are transfered to Finland. Today on 1 December, 2000, Finnish Foreign Ministry has opened in cooperation with the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland a new Arctic Council website(Linkki toiselle web-sivustolle.).

The site provides information related not only to the Arctic Council activities but variety of things concerning the arctic.

Arctic co-operation started in the field of environmental protection, in accordance with the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) adopted in Rovaniemi, Finland, in June 1991. Based on this "Rovaniemi process", the Arctic Council was established by a Declaration of eight Arctic states at their Ministerial Meeting in Ottawa in September 1996. With the establishment of the Arctic Council, environmental issues and sustainable development became key elements in the Council's sphere of activities. The Council also distributes information, encourages education and stimulates interest in Arctic questions.

The programme for the Finnish Chair of the Arctic Council 2000 - 2002 is also available on the above mentioned web site in English, Russian, Finnish, Swedish and Sami. Finland's priorities during its chairmanship include t.ex. rationalizing the Council's work in order to intensify the protection of the Arctic environment and initiating cooperation between the Arctic Council and the European Union.

The Arctic Council has eight member states: the five Nordic countries, Canada, the Russian Federation and the United States. For bodies representing indigenous peoples the Council has a separate category of Permanent Participants. Moreover, the Council has Observers: states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Further information:
Arctic Council Secretariat
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Unit for the Northern Dimension
P.O. Box 176, FIN-00161 Helsinki, FINLAND
tel: +358 - 9 - 1341 6187

Arktinen neuvosto