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Exploring common solutions – Finland stresses its Arctic expertise during the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council

Press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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Press release 80/2017
5 May 2017

Finland’s goals for its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council are to promote cooperation and emphasise Finland’s Arctic expertise. The priorities in Finland’s programme for the Chairmanship include environmental protection, meteorological cooperation, connectivity, and education in the Arctic.

Finland’s chairmanship programme aims to promote Arctic cooperation especially in the fields of environmental protection, meteorology, connectivity, and education. The Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development guide the Council’s work. Finland continues the Arctic Council’s long-term goals of promoting climate change work and sustainable development.

“Climate change has considerable impacts on the living conditions and environment in the Arctic Region,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. “Finland supports Arctic cooperation because a stable and viable Arctic Region benefits also people in Finland.”

The programme goals are based on Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region. They were drawn up in consultation with the Arctic States and Arctic indigenous people’s organisations.

Finland plans to organise a meeting of Arctic Ministers of the Environment in 2018. Meteorological cooperation is developed in cooperation with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the World Meteorological Organisation. Connectivity will be improved in cooperation with the Arctic Economic Council. Teacher education in the Arctic Regions will be developed in cooperation with the University of the Arctic. Maritime safety will be improved within the framework of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum.

Finland will harness its Chairmanship to promote Arctic expertise in Finland. Arctic expertise will be presented in international events and meetings in Finland and abroad.

Finland is prepared to organise an Arctic Summit during the Finnish Chairmanship if the international situation allows it and if a sufficiently heavy agenda can be agreed for the summit.

The Arctic Council is a body for intergovernmental cooperation for the Nordic countries, Russia, Canada and the USA. Representatives of the Arctic indigenous peoples also participate in the Council’s work. The Arctic Council’s work focuses on monitoring the status of the Arctic environment, identification of contamination risks, prevention of environmental disasters, promotion of sustainable development, preservation of natural diversity, and special issues concerning Arctic marine environments.

Finland will assume the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, on 11 May. It is a two-year chairmanship.

[pdf] Exploring Common Solutions - Finlands Chairmanship Program for the Arctic Council 2017-2019 (pdf, 6 pages, 36 kb)

Inquiries: Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 46 923 4581 and Aleksi Härkönen, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs, tel. +358 50 462 4471.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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