Family photo from the Ministerial meeting

Highlights of the Ministerial

The 12th Arctic Council Ministerial

The Reykjavik Declaration, a Strategic Plan and Chairmanship handover

At the 12th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland and online, Ministers of the eight Arctic States and leaders from the six Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations convened and marked the passing of the two-year Chairmanship from Iceland to the Russian Federation for the next two years (2021 – 2023). The eight Foreign Ministers signed the Reykjavik Declaration, and adopted the Council’s first ever Strategic Plan. Learn more.
Handing over the Chairmanship gavel
Norwegian Foreign Minister signs the declaration

The Reykjavik Declaration

The eight Foreign Ministers signed the Reykjavik Declaration, reaffirming the Council’s commitment to maintain peace, stability and constructive cooperation in the Arctic region, emphasizing Arctic States’ unique position to promote responsible governance in the region, and asserting the importance of immediately addressing climate change in the Arctic. Read the declaration here.
Arctic Council flag

The Council's first Strategic Plan

The Council's first Strategic Plan reflects the shared values, goals and joint aspirations of the Arctic States and Indigenous Permanent Participants. It will guide the Council’s work for the next decade. Explore the plan here.

Ministerial on-demand

You missed the Ministerial meeting but are curious about how Iceland's volcano featured in the pre-program, what the Ministers and Permanent Participants said and what questions came up during the press conference? No problem, the Ministerial was live-streamed and is now available on demand on the Arctic Council's Vimeo channel (and while you are there: there are a lot of other Ministerial videos to watch).
Screenshot of the Ministerial meeting recording
Screenshot from the online meeting platform

Get the delegates' view

The 12th Ministerial meeting took place both onsite in Reykjavik and online on a virtual platform. The platform enabled all delegates that were not able to attend in person to join remotely. Now, the platform is open to the public until 20 August - take a peek and feel like an Arctic Council delegate.

Newest releases

Key reports

Major reports adopted at the Ministerial meeting include the Arctic Climate Change Update 2021, the State of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Report, a Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter in the Arctic, Gender Equality in the Arctic report, the Summary of Progress and Recommendations from the Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane, to name a few. All deliverables are available via the Arctic Council’s open archive.
Working Group report covers
Walrus on sea ice

A sneak peek into the Council's work

The Arctic Council under the leadership of its six Working Groups and its Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane organized a series of four briefings leading up to the Ministerial meeting. These briefings featured sneak peeks and highlights from the experts themselves on new reports, assessments and other materials. Watch them here.
Challenges and solutions in the Arctic - The impact of the Arctic Council’s Working Groups. A trailer featuring key messages from our six Working Groups.

First edition of the Arctic Council magazine!

The Arctic Council's new magazine Pathways introduces the people, projects and international cooperation efforts that make the Council so successful. In this special 25th anniversary edition, we also take a look back at the founding of the Council with the people who made it possible. Check out the articles online, or download this issue as a pdf.

Pathways magazine cover

Highlights onsite

Catch some of the onsite moments on our Flickr account, which features photos of the Ministerial meeting.
Saami Council
Minister Thordarson and Minister Lavrov
Swedish Foreign Minister arrives in Harpa

Virtual Observers and associated program

Statement by the German Foreign Minister

Observer statements

The Council's Observer states and organizations were invited to share their statements with the Arctic Council delegates on the Ministerial platform. What did they have to say? All written statements are available on our open archive and video messages are available on Vimeo.
RAIPON youth

The voices of Arctic youth

Arctic youth shared their messages to Arctic Council delegates on the Ministerial platform. We have collected them on our Vimeo channel for you to watch and get inspired.
Arctic town

From the UArctic Congress, the AEC and Icelandic Met Office

The Icelandic Chairmanship invited the organizers of the UArctic Congress 2021, which took place in Reykjavik, Iceland May 15-18, 2021, the Arctic Economic Council and the Icelandic Met Office, which was an important cooperation partner during the Chairmanship, to share their messages for the Ministerial on the virtual platform. Watch them here.

Celebrating 25 years of peace and cooperation

Watch our documentary, reflecting the Council's 25-year old history and featuring interviews with Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mary Simon, the first Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, and many more.

The Russian Chairmanship

Responsible Governance for a Sustainable Arctic

A cross-cutting priority of the Russian Chairmanship in the Arctic Council will be "Responsible Governance for Sustainable Arctic" through promoting collective approaches to the sustainable development of the Arctic, environmentally, socially and economically balanced, enhancing synergy and cooperation and coordination with other regional structures, as well as implementation of the Council's Strategic Plan, while respecting the rule of law. Learn more about the Russian Chairmanship.

Arctic sea ice

News from the Permanent Participants

New IPS Chair

During the Ministerial week, the Chairmanship of the Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat Board was handed from The Saami Council to the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC Greenland). As the custom is among the Permanent Participants, the Chairmanship of the IPS is handed over at the time of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. This time the ceremony took place during the #ArcticMinisterial2021 virtual social program on 19 May. Ellen Inga Turi, who has chaired the IPS since 2019, virtually transferred over to Hjalmar Dahl. Watch the handover on the IPS Facebook profile.
Ellen Inga Turi and Hjalmar Dahl

Arctic Storytellers Trailer

Permanent Participants’ “25th Anniversary Arctic Storytelling Initiative” is a celebration of Arctic Council and Permanent Participants’ (PPs) history and achievements. In auspices of this project, the Permanent Participants Youth create a series of podcast telling PPs' stories on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Arctic Council. Youth will work together with PPs and each podcast will highlight selected stories by the PPs and their role in the Arctic Council. Finland and Iceland supported this PP initiative and all other Arctic countries are invited to join supporting this project. The storytelling initiative aims to create an opportunity for the PP Youth to work together, learn new skills using contemporary technologies and increase knowledge of the history of the PPs as well as tell the unique stories of the Arctic Council Permanent Participants. Listen to the trailer!

Youth at the Arctic Leaders' Youth Summit 2019

The Arctic Council's social corner

Photo contest winners

In connection with the launch of Pathways, the Arctic Council hosted a photo contest, inviting people across the Arctic and beyond to share what the Arctic looks like through their lens. The Arctic Council received over 220 images in the following categories: Pathways, Landscapes, People of the Arctic and Plants and Animals. Take a look at the winning photos in each category.
Photo contest winners
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