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From Reykjavík (Photo: GettyImages)The first Nordic Council theme session of the year will be held in Reykjavík Iceland in March. The Arctic will be in the forefront of the session.

On March 23rd a plenary debate is scheduled which will highlight Arctic issues from an environmental-, equality- and welfare perspective.

It will be broadcasted live online.

The many and complex political challenges faced in the Arctic is also one of three main themes for the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council in 2012.

Promoting a form of development that guarantees the living standards of the Arctic people is one of the key issues of the presidency, according to the Norden website.

"A balance has to be struck between the rights and needs of the people and protection of the fragile natural environment, particularly because global interest in exploiting Arctic natural resources is growing, as is interest in opening up Arctic transport routes. A variety of national, regional and global bodies are involved in Arctic issues," it states.

The Nordic Council will have its meeting in Reykjavík two days prior to the theme session.