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Exploring Common Solutions - Finnish Chairmanship - Arctic Council

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

As the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019, Finland emphasises 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.

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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.

The Chairmanship Team at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

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.

Several environmentally sustainable meetings in Finland

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.

Arctic Team, Unit for Northern Europe, Department for Europe

Arktinen tiimi. Kuva: Teemu Kuusimurto
Arctic Team from left to right: Harri Mäki-Reinikka, Tuuli Ojala, René Söderman, Martta Rissanen, Aleksi Härkönen, Ritva Hautanen, Annariina Kukkonen, Pekka Shemeikka. Photo: Teemu Kuusimurto.


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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
  • Northern policies, Arctic Strategy
  • tel. +358 295 351 972

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