The Arctic Council


Sea Shelf Extension
The Arctic Council
Northern Strategy


Canada currently holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.


The Ottawa Declaration of 1996 formally established the Arctic Council as a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.


Arctic Council Member States are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America.


The following organizations are Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council: Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Aleut International Association (AIA), Gwich'in Council International (GCI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), Saami Council (SC). The Permanent Participants have full consultation rights in connection with the Councilís negotiations and decisions.


The Arctic Council is only an advisory forum and has no coercive powers to impose its decison son its members or the international community. However the Arctic Councilís growing influence is symbolized by the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement of 2011, the first Arctic Council agreement that it member states decided to made binding. The treaty coordinates international search and rescue (SAR) coverage and response in the Arctic, and establishes the area of SAR responsibility of each state party.