As the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019, Finland emphasizes the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Arctic cooperation. During its term, Finland will strengthen 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 aims to contribute to the maintenance of stability and to further strengthen the Arctic cooperation. Finland will reinforce its country brand and raise awareness of its Arctic expertise.
In the preparatory phase, Finland has consulted the Arctic States and Arctic Indigenous People’s organisations in cooperation with representatives of the central government. Finland’s chairmanship programme focuses 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 coordinates the activities in collaboration with other ministries and various stakeholders. In issues related to the economy, the Arctic Economic Council is a central partner of cooperation.
Finland will organise many meetings at senior official and expert level as well as Arctic conferences and seminars. The last event during Finland’s Chairmanship will be the Arctic foreign ministers’ meeting in May 2019.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with WWF Finland have developed guidelines on how to arrange environmentally sustainable meetings. These are followed in all Arctic Council meetings organised by the Foreign Ministry in cooperation with various service providers. The guidelines help in making environmentally friendly choices, for example, in the provision of catering, in procurements and in connection with evening programmes.