Arctic Council will gather in Levi, Finland on 22-23 March 2018
On 22-23 March 2018, the Arctic Council will gather in Levi, Finland for the second Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting held during the Chairmanship of Finland (2017-2019). This meeting brings together representatives from the eight Arctic States, the six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, six Working Groups, and over 30 Observer states and organizations.
The Council’s priority themes during the Chairmanship of Finland are environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation, and education.
At this meeting, the Arctic Council will address the issues of meteorological cooperation and connectivity, both critical in the Arctic. Experts from the Council’s six Working Groups, as well as leaders from the World Meteorological Organization and from the national meteorological institutes of Finland, Iceland, and Russia will all contribute to the discussion on meteorological cooperation.
At the same time, the World Meteorological Organization will be hosting an Arctic Meteorological Summit in Levi, which brings together its major stakeholders to discuss cooperation in the Arctic.
During the conversation on connectivity, experts in health, telecommunications, satellite technology, and other fields will bring their perspectives before the Council members.
The Council’s six Working Groups will also provide updates on their work as they make progress towards the next Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, which will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland in early May 2019.
Speaking about the agenda for the meeting in Levi, Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, said: “Our upcoming meeting in Levi is another opportunity to make progress in these important areas of cooperation – meteorology and connectivity. It will be an important opportunity to share knowledge, research, and experience with partners in other spheres. It goes without saying that I also look forward to welcoming the Council’s members and Observers from around the world to Arctic Finland at a beautiful time of year.”
The Council will also look forward to a fall packed with events including the Arctic Environment Ministers Meeting 11-12 October 2018, Arctic Biodiversity Congress (9-11 October 2018), Arctic Resilience Forum (10-11 September 2018), and Model Arctic Council (29 October – 2 November 2018).
Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is at the forefront of Arctic cooperation. In its first 21 years it has become the most important body for promoting a positive agenda and coordinating joint action on all vital issues in the region. The Council is presently at work on a long-term strategic plan, the first of its kind for the Council as a whole.
The Arctic Council focuses on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
The Council holds Senior Arctic Officials’ meetings roughly every six months, and Ministerial meetings roughly every two years. The next Ministerial meeting will take place in spring of 2019.
The Finnish Chairmanship runs from 2017-2019, after which Iceland will assume the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
The eight Arctic States are Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States.
The six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations are the Aleut International Association, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Gwich’In Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Saami Council, and RAIPON – the Russian Association of Indigenous People of the North.