Next week 14-15 November more than 120 delegates from the Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants, and Working Groups will travel to Haparanda in Northern Sweden for the third Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship. Haparanda is located right on the border to Finland and demonstrates the special nature of cross-national exchange in northern Scandinavia.

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On November 14-15 the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council will gather in Haparanda, Sweden, for this year’s last meeting. Haparanda is located just on the border to Finland, and is the twin town of the Finnish city Tornio where one of the hotels used for the meeting is located. Futhermore, Haparanda is home to a Sauna museum and the world’s northernmost IKEA store. A bus tour of the city for the meeting participants is planned in the afternoon of November 13. This will surely be both an exciting and beautiful ride.

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Klavs A. Holm was appointed as Arctic Ambassador and Senior Arctic Official (SAO) for the Kingdom of Denmark in January of 2012. During his career Ambassador Holm has been posted in different locations around the world, for example at the Royal Danish Embassy in Paris and London. He is committed to ensuring that the Arctic Council contributes to sustainable development for Arctic inhabitants.

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The last Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) meeting was held at the Vikin Maritime Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland 17-19 September. The meeting began with an Informal Open Business Dialogue 17 September with 25 representatives from a wide range of industry sectors. The Informal Open Business Dialogue provided a good opportunity for delegates to hear about the challenges and opportunities, in particular of how business can contribute to sustainable development in the Arctic.

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The Arctic Contaminants Action Program working group (ACAP) met in Danish Environment Protection Agency premises in Copenhagen 13-14 September. The meeting was led by Jaakko Henttonen, ACAP Chair. Representatives from six Arctic states, as well as the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat and Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), took part in the meeting. Progress was made and many items agreed upon.

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