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Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019

Finland will take over the two-year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from the U.S. at the beginning of May 2017.

Jäänmurtaja Eteläsatamassa. Kuva: Jouni Törmänen/Lehtikuva
Photo: Jouni Törmänen/Lehtikuva

The member states of the Arctic Council are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Russian Federation, the United States of America and Canada. The region's indigenous peoples such as the Sami also participate in the cooperation. The Council is a forum for promoting environmental protection, sustainable development and the inhabitants’ wellbeing in the Arctic areas.

The Arctic Council’s foreign ministerial meeting is organised every second year.  The next ministerial meeting is likely to be organised in spring 2019.

The majority of the Council’s work is conducted in its six Working Groups.

Finland’s Chairmanship will be coordinated by an Arctic Team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The programme for the Chairmanship has been prepared in cooperation between actors representing the entire state administration and different interest groups.

The Finnish Chairmanship will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) as part of Arctic cooperation.  Finland will consult all member states of the Arctic Council and associations of the indigenous peoples about the Chairmanship Programme.

In issues related to the economy, close collaboration with the Arctic Economic Council will be sought. The Arctic Council’s Chairmanship provides an opportunity for Finland to strengthen its Arctic image and raise awareness of Finland expertise in operating in cold conditions.

Arctic Team, Unit for Northern Europe, Department for Europe


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Mr Aleksi Härkönen

  • Ambassador for Arctic Affairs
  • Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials 2017 – 2019
  • Mob: +358 50 462 4471

Mr René Söderman

  • Senior Adviser for Arctic Affairs
  • Head of Delegation, Senior Arctic Official 2017– 2019
  • Mob: +358 50 362 9536

Mr Pekka Shemeikka

  • Senior Adviser
  • Chair of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) 2017 – 2019
  • Mob: +358 50 311 2361

Ms Ritva Hautanen

  • Desk officer for Arctic Affairs
  • Mob: +358 50 597 4287

Ms Tuuli Ojala

  • Senior specialist
  • Head of Delegation, Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) 2017 – 2019
  • Mob: +358 50 469 9848

Ms Annariina Kukkonen

  • Conference coordinator
  • Chairmanship conference arrangements
  • Mob: +358 50 596 2944

Mr Martti Ruokolainen

  • Communications Officer
  • Media contacts
  • Mob: +358 40 510 7518

Ms Martta Rissanen

  • Team assistant
  • Mob. +358 50 324 8755


Mr Harri Mäki-Reinikka

  • Senior Adviser; Ambassador
  • Finnish Northern politics, Finnish Arctic Strategy
  • Mob: +358 50 324 9962
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