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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Permanent Secretariat of Arctic Council established in Tromsoe

Espen-Barth-Eide-og-Magnus-Johannesson

Espen Barth Eide, Foreign Minister of Norway and Magnús Jóhannesson, the new director of the Arctic Council‘s permanent secretariat, signed a Host Country Agreement between Norway and the Arctic Council at a ceremony yesterday in Tromsoe. Mr. Jóhannesson will begin work at the Secretariat in the beginning of February and will lead the establishment of the standing secretariat. The Nordic countries, the United States, Canada and Russia are members of the Arctic Countries, established in 1996. The permanent secretariat will be responsible for communication, general meeting preparations and coordination for the Council and working group relations.

The establishment of the permanent secretariat is a significant step in strengthening the Arctic Council in the global discussions and decision making about Arctic issues and a top priority in Iceland's Arctic policy. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Industries and Innovation attended the signing ceremony with Espen Barth Eide, Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sweden and Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Canada's Minister of the Arctic Council. Mr. Sigfússon will also participate in Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsoe as one of the keynote policy speaker on marine issues in a changing Arctic.

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