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Norway's Chairship, 2023-2025

The overall objective for Norway’s Chairship of the Arctic Council will be to promote stability and constructive cooperation in the Arctic. Norway will focus on the core issues the Council deals with, including impacts of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to enhance the well-being of people living in the region. Through four priority topics: the oceans; climate and environment, sustainable economic development; and people in the North, Norway will continue to pursue the long-term approach taken by the Council in its important efforts to ensure a vibrant and sustainable Arctic region. Arctic youth and Arctic Indigenous Peoples are cross-cutting priorities of the Norwegian Chairship.

For more than 25 years the Arctic Council has played a central role in Arctic cooperation. The Working Groups produce crucial knowledge on the state of the Arctic, including climate change, which feeds into national and international management regimes.

Espen Barth Eide
Espen Barth Eide
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Arctic Council


The four thematic priorities of Norway’s Chairship reflect long-term Norwegian priorities for the Arctic and for Norway’s Arctic policy, which are founded on knowledge and the principles of responsible and sustainable management.

© Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

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The Oceans

A combination of increasing activity, rapid climate change and loss of sea ice is putting growing pressure on the Arctic marine environment. To promote healthy and productive oceans and enhance sustainability of Arctic Ocean industries, Norway will continue to focus on integrated ocean management.

We will continue the efforts to support and strengthen international ocean research collaboration and increase joint action to combat marine litter. The coastal areas play a vital role in maintaining dynamic local communities in the north. Strengthening cooperation on emergency preparedness and safe shipping in the Arctic is therefore a priority for Norway.

Climate and environment

Climate change is particularly rapid in the Arctic. Changes in the Arctic have impacts at a global level. Climate change is by far the most serious threat to Arctic biodiversity. During the Norwegian Chairship, we will focus on the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, the need to adapt the management regime to climate change, and the environmental problems associated with expanding human activity. A shared, robust knowledge base is vital to dealing with these challenges.

© Ann Kristin Balto

© Louise Myrnes Steinrud

Sustainable economic development

The rich natural resources of the Arctic are already playing a role in economic development and supporting dynamic communities in the Arctic. At the same time, the region has considerable potential for economic development in connection with the green transition. During its Chairship, Norway will highlight sustainable economic development as an essential basis for social development in the Arctic. The green transition, the blue economy, sustainable shipping, and Arctic food systems will be special thematic priorities.

People in the North

Global climate change is altering the framework for livelihoods, settlement patterns and living conditions for people living in the Arctic, often in new and different ways. Through its Chairship of the Arctic Council Norway will seek to develop resilient, diverse, and inclusive Arctic communities that are attractive places to live in, for everyone.

To this end, Norway will seek to strengthen Arctic health cooperation, including cooperation on enhanced medical preparedness in the region. Norway will also work to enhance Arctic cooperation in the cultural field.

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Meet the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials

Morten Høglund has been Norway’s Senior Arctic Official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since September 2021.

He is former Norwegian Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Mr. Høglund is a former politician and was a member of the Norwegian Parliament from 2001-2013. From 2010-2013 Mr. Høglund served as the Chair of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. From 2013-2015 he served as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Morten Høglund
Mr. Morten Høglund
Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials