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Arctic Council members and observers 2019 smallThe 12th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting will be held in Reykjavik on the 20th of May. The Foreign Ministers of all member states are expected to arrive in Iceland for the occasion. The member states being Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States. The meeting marks the end of Iceland's two-year presidency of the Arctic Council and the beginning of the Russian Chairmanship.

During their visits to Iceland Foreign Minister Lavrov and Foreign Minister Blinken are expected to have a face to face meeting.

The Arctic Council holds Ministerial Meetings every two years, at the end of each presidency. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the arrangement of the meeting will be in a changed format and more restricted to facilitate implementation with respect to quarantine. Participation in the meeting is therefore limited to the Foreign Ministers of the eight Arctic countries, as well as the Ministers of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, and the Indigenous Association. Others participate through teleconferencing equipment.

The meeting begins with the eight Foreign Ministers' working dinners on Wednesday evening. On Thursday the 20th their actual meeting takes place. At the meeting, the Council's Ministerial Statement, the so-called Reykjavik Declaration, as well as the Council's Policy for the next ten years is expected to be approved and Guðlaugur Þórðarson will hand over the presidency of the Council of Foreign Affairs and Development to the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is now taking over the presidency of the Council for the next two years.

The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic Foreign Ministers, leaders of six Indigenous organisations in the Arctic, representatives of six working groups of the Council and its other operational units and representatives of approximately 40 council observers who are divided between states, International Organisations and NGOs.

Source: UTN

Map; Arctic Portal.org