In the Nuuk Declaration dated 12 May 2011, the Ministers of the Arctic Council member states decided to "Strengthen the capacity of the Arctic Council to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic by establishing a standing Arctic Council secretariat, hereinafter the Secretariat, in Tromsø, Norway to be operational no later than at the beginning of the Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2013"

To aid in the planning of the permanent Secretariat in Tromsø, the Nuuk declaration also mentioned establishing a Task Force to:

"Implement the decisions to strengthen the Arctic Council, including any necessary arrangements to establish the Secretariat"

The Task Force for Institutional Issues (TFII) consisted of delegates from all eight Arctic member states, and from the Permanent Participants. The TFII had its first meeting in Stockholm in September 2011, the second meeting in Reykjavik December 2011 and the third meeting in Tromsø in February 2012. The Task Force completed its work for the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting in May 2013.