The Arctic Mayors’ Forum was prominent at the Arctic Circle conference held last October in Reykjavik Iceland.

On the program was a session organized by the European Union about its new Arctic Policy. It was truly gratifying to see that the policy on which the Arctic Mayors’ Forum is based was taken into account.

In a chapter focusing on prioritizing people living in the Arctic (page 14) there is a direct mention of the Arctic Mayors’ Forum:

“People are the key to sustainable development and resilient societies. The Arctic regions are diverse in terms of ethnicities, governance, economies, demographics, migration patterns and social realities. A sustainable way forward requires inclusive dialogue, diversity and meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels.

The Arctic Stakeholders’ Forum and the Indigenous Peoples’ Dialogue are now an integral part of the EU’s Arctic policy. The EU has regular discussions with business groups such as the Arctic Economic Council, organizations representing municipalities, like the Arctic Mayors’ Forum, and Arctic-wide representatives, including the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas network. The EU also maintains regular contact with the Sámi Council.”

In a plenary session organized by the Arctic Mayors’ Forum and moderated by Ásthildur Sturludóttir, chairman of the AMF, Mirja Vehkaperä, Political Mayor of Oulu, Finland, Anders Josefsson, Deputy Mayor of Luleå, Sweden, Jaakko Simonen, Associate Professor, Oulu Business School, and Jennifer Spence, Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group, discussed Arctic Crisis Management and lessons to be learned from Covid 19.

In addition, AMF participated in a seminar on sustainable development and the position of young people in the Arctic. Amongst speakers were both Ásthildur Sturludóttir, chairman of AMF, and Mirja Vehkaperä, Political Mayor of Oulu.