Finland to chair the Arctic Council
Finland held the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–19. The two-year term started in May 2017. Finland took over the Chairmanship from the U.S. As the Chair of the Arctic Council Finland engaged in close cooperation with the Arctic Economic Council and the Arctic Coast Guard Forum.
The key objective for Finland during its chairmanship was to strengthen Arctic cooperation and secure its continuity, also at the highest political level. During the two-year term Finland emphasised the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Arctic cooperation.
The Arctic Council’s Chairmanship provided an opportunity for Finland to consolidate its Arctic image and to make Finnish expertise in operating in cold conditions better known.
The Arctic Council Foreign Ministers meeting takes place every two years. Most of the work of the Arctic Council is being done in six working groups. The programme for the Chairmanship was prepared in cooperation between actors representing the entire state administration and different interest groups. Finland's Chairmanship was coordinated by the Arctic Team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The member states of the Arctic Council are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, the United States and Canada. The region's indigenous peoples such as the Saami also participate in the cooperation.