Flags of the Arctic States and Permanent Participant organizations
Flags of the Arctic States and Permanent Participant organizations

Arctic Frontiers panel: The Arctic Council - 25 Years of Peace and Cooperation

28 January 2021
The Arctic Council and the Arctic Frontiers host a high-level panel on the occasion of the Arctic Council’s anniversary
The Foreign Ministers of the Arctic States and the leaders of the Indigenous peoples' organization - among them three of the panelist of the Arctic Frontiers event

Over the past 25 years, the Arctic Council has brought together Arctic States and Indigenous peoples at one table to chart a path forward for the region. Today, the Council is regarded as the preeminent forum for addressing Arctic issues, for maintaining peace in the region, fostering exceptional cooperation, furthering the knowledge base, and contributing to the well-being of peoples across the Arctic.

How has this unique cooperation developed over the years? How have Arctic States and Arctic Indigenous peoples built trust and joined forces to tackle on pressing issues in the Arctic?

To answer these questions and to mark the Council’s anniversary, the Arctic Frontiers and the Arctic Council will host a high-level dialogue on the Council’s track record of 25 years of successful circumpolar cooperation – a conversation that will serve as an invitation to reflect on the Council’s next 25 years. On the panel are the current Chair of the Arctic Council, Iceland's Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, The Senior Arctic Official of the Russian Federation Nikolay Korchunov and the U.S. Ch-Chair of Gwich'in Council International, Edward Alexander.

When: 3 Februray, 14:30 - 15:45 CET.

Where: Arctic Frontiers 2021 virtual conference

The panelists

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Minister Þórðarson (left) at the Arctic Council Ministeral meeting 2019

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland since January 2017. As Minister for Foreign Affairs he is responsible for Iceland’s Foreign Policy, including International Development Cooperation, External Trade, Security and Defence. Minister Thordarson has been a member of parliament since 2003 and served as Minister of Health from 2007-2009. He served on the Reykjavik City Council from 1998-2006, and also has an extensive experience from the private sector.

Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Minister Søreide at the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting 2019

Ine Eriksen Søreide is Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway. She was Minister of Defence from 2013 to 2017. Before that, she served as member of the Storting (Norwegian parliament) for 12 years. From 2009 to 2013, she chaired the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. In the same period, she was also Head of the Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament as well as Head of the European Consultative Committee. From 2005 to 2009, Ms Eriksen Søreide chaired the Standing Committee on Education, Research and Church Affairs.

Nikolay Korchunov, Senior Arctic Official of Russian Federation

SAO Korchunov at an Arctic Council meeting

Nikolay Korchunov is a career diplomat who has served as the Ambassador-at-Large for the Arctic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Russia and the Senior Arctic Official of the Russian Federation to the Arctic Council since December 2018. Prior to his current role, Korchunov occupied various positions at the headquarters of the MFA of Russia and abroad, including postings at the embassies of the Russian Federation to Sweden and Finland and at the Russian Mission to NATO. In addition, he served as Head of Russia’s delegation to the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation and the Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic from 2015 until 2018.

Edward Alexander, U.S. Co-Chair Gwich'in Council International

Edward Alexander

Edward Alexander is Gwich’yaa Gwich’in from Fort Yukon, Alaska. He is the U.S. Co-Chair of Gwich’in Council International. Edward is passionate about his language and ensuring that the next generation has access to quality educational opportunities rooted in their language and culture. He advances this goal, in the classroom and by working to provide Gwich’in language resources to the communities, which he has done in his capacity as a teacher, principal, language coordinator, and Yukon Flats Centre Coordinator at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). Most recently, he served as the Education Director for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, which works for 37 Federally Recognized Tribes. He is active on many boards and committees primarily focused on issues of Gwich’in language revitalization, education, and social and environmental justice.