Press release 110/2013
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will participate in the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting on 15 May in Kiruna, Northern Sweden. In the meeting, the ministers will sign the Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Agreement.
Several major environmental reports will be launched at the meetings, including assessments on Arctic biodiversity, and acidification of the Arctic Ocean associated with climate change and its effects, and sustainable use and protection of the Arctic marine region. The reports come with recommendations, on the basis of which the foreign ministers take decisions on potential further measures. The recommendations for reducing black carbon and methane emissions for abatement of climate change will also be presented to the foreign ministers.
A number of states and organisations is seeking observer status in the Arctic Council, including the European Commission. The plan is that the meeting will process applications on the basis of agreed selection criteria.
The Arctic Council is a cooperation organ between the governments of the Nordic Countries, Russia, Canada and the United States. In addition, representatives of indigenous peoples participate in the Council work. The Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates between the member states every two years. In the eighth Ministerial Meeting, to be held in Kiruna, Sweden will hand over the Chairmanship to Canada.
The Finnish delegation will also include representatives from the Sami Parliament, the Ministry of the Environment, the University of Lapland's Arctic Centre, the City of Rovaniemi, and business life.
Additional information: Tarja Kantola, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 40 590 4119 and Ambassador Hannu Halinen, Arctic Affairs, tel. +358 40 1782053