Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre at Greenland with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: Foreign Ministry Norway

Foreign Minister Støre welcomes decision to locate Arctic Council Secretariat in Tromsø

Last updated: 18/05/2011 // “I am pleased that the Secretariat of the Arctic Council will be located in Tromsø. This will facilitate the Council’s work and consolidate Tromsø’s position as a centre for Arctic issues, both in Norway and internationally,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The decision was taken at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Greenland on 12 May. Tromsø has hosted the temporary secretariat since 2006. It will now be made permanent. Before the meeting, there were two candidate cities: Reykjavik and Tromsø. Some had also advocated that the secretariat should be located in a capital city.

 “It was important for Norway that the Arctic Council Secretariat should be located in the Arctic. This made Tromsø the obvious choice,” said Foreign Minister Støre.

“The choice of Tromsø is also a recognition of the work done by the temporary secretariat. The new secretariat will be responsible for a very important field. It will be able to draw on the centres of expertise in Tromsø and help to consolidate the city’s position as an Arctic powerhouse,” said Mr Støre.

 “One of the key aims of the Government’s High North policy is to facilitate regional cooperation. The Arctic is facing great challenges and opportunities that no single country can deal with on its own. We will help to ensure that the Arctic Council continues to be the most important forum for discussing and finding solutions to Arctic issues,” said Mr Støre.

This means that Norway will now host the secretariats of the two key forums for cooperation in the north, the Arctic Council and the Barents Council, which has its secretariat in Kirkenes. The Arctic Council comprises the eight Arctic States, which are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the US, as well as representatives of six indigenous people’s organisations, which take part as Permanent Participants.

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You can also read the story and find more information on Norwegian High North policy on thewebsite of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway   |   Share on your network   |   print