Arctic Council agrees on Tromsø

Norway gets permanent secretariat for the Arctic Council.

Permanent secretariat will facilitate the council’s work.


Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Nuuk decided that Tromsø in Northern Norway will be the location for the work to coordinate the joint work for the eight Arctic States.

- It was important for Norway that the Arctic Council Secretariat should be located in the Arctic. This made Tromsø the obvious choice, said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre after the decision.

Before the Nuuk meeting on Greenland, the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik was also candidate city, while others advocated that the secretariat should be located in a capital city.

A temporary Arctic Council secretariat has been in Tromsø since 2006 when Norway was the chair of the Arctic Council. It continued to work under the Danish chair and is now made permanent.

- The choice of Tromsø is also recognition of the work done by the temporary secretariat. The new secretariat will be responsible for a very important field. It will be able to draw on the centers of expertise in Tromsø and help to consolidate the city’s position as an Arctic powerhouse, Støre said in a press release.

Tromsø is Norway’s largest city in the north and holds a important research community like the Polar Institute and the University of Tromsø. 

This means that Norway will now host the secretariats of the two key forums for cooperation in the north, the Arctic Council and the Barents Council, which has its secretariat in Kirkenes.