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Senior Arctic Officials Meet in Anchorage, Alaska

12 October 2015
The first plenary SAO meeting during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is coming up in Anchorage, Alaska.

Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic states, Indigenous peoples and inhabitants on common Arctic issues, including sustainable development and environmental protection.

The program for this meeting includes discussion of several focus areas of the Arctic Council, including climate change, environment and biodiversity, Arctic communities, and oceans.

Ambassador David Balton, Chairman of the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs), called the upcoming meeting “a terrific opportunity to advance Arctic initiatives, as well as a chance to continue to strengthen the Arctic Council as the pre-eminent forum for Arctic issues.” He added that the Council’s success in addressing Arctic issues comes from “a strong commitment to collaboration among the Arctic States, the peoples of the Arctic, scientists and academics, industry representatives, environmental organizations and other stakeholders. At this meeting, the Council will also consider ways to enhance its engagement with the more than 30 accredited Council Observers.”

Additional SAO meetings during the United States’ Chairmanship are planned for March 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska; October 2016 in Portland, Maine; and March 2017 in Juneau, Alaska.

Following the meeting, Ambassador Balton will brief the press on Friday, 23 October in Anchorage, Alaska at 9:00 AM local time. Journalists wishing to attend either in person or remotely by telephone are asked to RSVP to

For more information please contact:
Tom Fries, Arctic Council Secretariat
+47 911 20 370
+1 202 288 3045