Term of the Arctic Advisory Board is ending

Government Communications Department 18.10.2019 15.29
News item 547/2019
Neuvottelukunta pitämässä kokousta Kuusamossa.

The term of the Arctic Advisory Board of Finland will end on 31 October 2019. In practice, however, the Board has already completed its work, with its last meeting held in Helsinki on 26 September. A new Arctic Advisory Board will be appointed during this autumn.

Established in the beginning of 2017, the Arctic Advisory Board brings together key Finnish stakeholders involved in Arctic affairs. Its mission is to support and strengthen Finland’s Arctic policy, promote the achievement of the objectives set for it, raise awareness of Arctic issues, and clarify and enhance our Arctic identity. The Arctic Advisory Board is chaired by Raimo Luoma, State Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, and its Secretary General is Harri Mäki-Reinikka from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

During its term, the Arctic Advisory Board held 10 meetings. Besides Helsinki, the venues for these were in Oulu, Rovaniemi and Kuusamo, and in Tromsø, Norway. 

Finland held the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017-2019. The Chairmanship ended in May 2019. The Arctic Advisory Board met on a regular basis to discuss the themes and preparations for Finland’s Chairmanship, the progress made on these, and the outcomes achieved. The key themes for Finland’s Chairmanship included the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Arctic cooperation.

The Arctic policy of the EU was also among the themes regularly on the agenda of the meetings. At the meeting in Kuusamo in spring 2019 Marie-Anne Coninsx, the EU’s Ambassador at Large for the Arctic, gave a presentation on this.

Government Programme well received

At the last meeting of its term, the Arctic Advisory Board discussed the objectives concerning the Arctic in the new Government Programme. The Board strongly supports these.  Among the issues considered particularly good was that the parties in the Government had given due attention to the position of indigenous peoples.

A new strategy for Finland’s Arctic policy is to be prepared during this Government term. The previous Strategy for the Arctic Region was adopted in 2013 and updated in 2016

At its last meeting the Arctic Advisory Board agreed that, while mitigating climate change is the main priority, it is also important to make sure that adequate conditions for living continue to exist in the northern regions. The Arctic Advisory Board pointed out that the new strategy must be concrete enough in this respect.

The meetings of the Arctic Advisory Board were considered successful, and special mention was made of the important role of the network of contacts formed by the Board.

Inquiries: Nina Brander, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 160 347, nina.brander(at)vnk.fi, Prime Minister’s Office