The city of St. Petersburg will host the Fifth International Arctic Forum ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 9-10 April 2019. The forum is a platform for discussing current issues related to the socio-economic development of Arctic regions and to developing mechanisms for joint discovery and effective exploitation of the natural resource potential of the Arctic.
The business programme is divided into three pillars: Coastal Territories, Open Ocean and Sustainable Development. The Barents Cooperation will be a central topic of discussion in the ‘Coastal Territories’ business programme pillar of the International Arctic Forum.
Concretely, the Barents Cooperation will be discussed in the session called ‘Talking Barents: Prospects and Formats of Cooperation’. The panel will be formed by speakers representing the counties of the Barents region, including Governor Magdalena Andersson, Västerbotten (Sweden), County Councilor Willy Ørnebakk, Troms (Norway), County Councilor Ragnhild Vassvik, Finnmark (Norway), Region Mayor Pentti Malinen, Kainuu (Finland), Governor Igor Orlov, Arkhangelsk region (Russia), Head of Republic Artur Parfenchikov (Karelia); as well as Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brjorn Lyrvall, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Lars Georg Fordal, Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and Sergey Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative (Russia).
The participants will discuss priorities for cross-border cooperation and promising projects that can be implemented jointly in the interests of the European Arctic mainland. One of the key themes of the session will be a discussion of the ‘Transport and Logistics of the Barents Region’ project, which focuses on developing and enhancing the efficiency of the region’s transport system well as ensuring environmental protection with the creation of green corridors.
As announced earlier, both the Norwegian and the Swedish Prime Ministers and the Finnish President confirmed their participation in the upcoming Forum in St. Petersburg.
Norway is set to take over the BEAC Chairmanship in October for the period 2019-2021 under the heading “A strong and resilient Barents region”. The three priorities for the incoming BEAC Chair will be Health (including e-health), People-to-people projects and Knowledge (including environment, youth, education, competence).
The link to the Talking Barents panel in St. Petersburg: