On 1-2 November 2018, the Arctic Council will gather in Rovaniemi, Finland for the third Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting held during the Chairmanship of Finland (2017-2019). The meeting brings together representatives from the eight Arctic States, the six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, six Working Groups, two Task Forces, one Expert Group and over 30 Observer states and organizations.

The Finnish Chairmanship is now in its final six months, and the Council’s priority themes are environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation, and education.

Click here to access the Finnish Chairmanship program.

This meeting of the Senior Arctic Officials will review progress and receive updates from all the Council’s subsidiary bodies on their work.

SAO Chair Aleksi Härkönen highlights:

“The Arctic Council is working hard to ensure that we are on track to deliver excellent products and recommendations for the Rovaniemi Ministerial meeting. At this meeting, we will also devote some of the agenda to the Council’s work in safeguarding biodiversity building on the recent Arctic Biodiversity Congress. I am looking forward to hearing from the accredited Observers about their activities supporting the goals of the Arctic Council in this regard.”
At the Rovaniemi SAO meeting, Iceland will present some elements of their upcoming Chairmanship program (2019-2021).
Following the meeting, Ambassador Härkönen will brief the press on Friday 2 November 18.00 local time in Rovaniemi, Finland. Journalists wishing to join the press conference in person or remotely are invited to do so; please register using the form linked below. Call-in information will be sent to remote participants.

Press briefing registration form

Background facts

Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is at the forefront of Arctic cooperation. In its first 22 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 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.

The six Working Groups of the Arctic Council are:
ACAP (Arctic Contaminants Action Program)
AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme)
CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna)
EPPR (Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response)
PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment)
SDWG (Sustainable Development Working Group)