Photo: View on Salekhard by Leonid Eremeychuk, iStock
Photo: View on Salekhard by Leonid Eremeychuk, iStock

Arctic Council to convene for the first plenary meeting under the Russian Chairmanship

24 November 2021
The Russian Federation invites all Arctic Council delegates in person and virtually to the first Senior Arctic Officials’ (SAO) plenary meeting under its Chairmanship, taking place on December 1-2, 2021, in Salekhard, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. The hybrid SAO meeting will bring together representatives from all eight Arctic States, six Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, six Working Groups and 38 Observer states and organizations to discuss updates on the Council’s ongoing and emerging projects, its work on addressing black carbon and methane emissions, and marine related activities.

The overarching theme of the Russian Chairmanship is “Responsible Governance for a Sustainable Arctic” – a guiding principle to promote sustainable development of the region in its environmental, social and economic dimensions, to enhance synergies with other regional platforms and to initiate the implementation of the Council’s 10-year strategic plan.

“Our Chairmanship program reflects the need for joint action on the sustainable development of the region and for enhancing our cooperation with partners across the Arctic region and beyond. To achieve a sustainable and prosperous future in the Arctic, we need to focus on approaches that are collective,” said Ambassador Nikolay Korchunov, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials. “As a follow-up to the Salekhard meeting we are looking forward to advancing some key initiatives of our Chairmanship program jointly with all our partners and in doing so to begin the implementation process of our shared strategic vision for the Arctic future.”

High on the agenda are such topics as sustainable socioeconomic development of the Arctic and the Council’s practical efforts to preserve the Arctic ecosystem, enhancement of Indigenous and region-to-region circumpolar cooperation, the Arctic Council’s collaboration on marine related issues, the Chairmanship’s proposals for promoting Arctic youth engagement in Arctic affairs, as well as other topics related to the implementation of the Council’s 10-year Strategic Plan.

One important element of the SAO meeting is a special joint session on the cooperation between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council. The two Councils formalized their cooperation by signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding in May 2019, and the meeting in Salekhard will mark the second time representatives of the two Councils meet. This session seeks to assess the progress of and opportunities for cooperation, especially between the Councils’ respective working groups.

Following the SAO meeting on 2 December, Ambassador Korchunov will be available to brief the press at 17:30 YEKT / GMT+5. Media representatives are invited to join virtually. Journalists wishing to join are invited to register via the press briefing registration form or respond directly to media@arctic-council.org.

The Russian Federation assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May 2021 and will chair the intergovernmental forum until spring 2023. The Russian Chairmanship program outlines four priority areas for its two-year term: Arctic inhabitants and Indigenous Peoples, environmental protection and climate change, socioeconomic development, and strengthening the Arctic Council. More about the Russian Chairmanship priorities here: https://arctic-council.org/about/russian-chairmanship-2/. The operator of events under the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2021-2023 is the Roscongress Foundation: https://roscongress.org/en/

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