Welcoming speech by President Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting in Rovaniemi

Welcoming speech by the President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland Tiina Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting (AEMM) in Rovaniemi, 11 October, 2018.



Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters,

It is an honor and privilege for me to welcome you, on behalf of the Sámi Parliament in Finland to the Arctic Environment Ministers’ Meeting – Exploring Common Solutions for the Arctic Environment.

Exploring and finding common solutions for the Arctic Environment should be priority for all of us. I believe the key for this is a cooperation between everyone – decision makers, indigenous peoples, scientists, researchers and the civil society.

I am delighted to welcome all the distinguished participants. You have travelled from the different regions to be present at this important meeting. I wish to extend my appreciation to the Government of Finland for the efforts to further develop the cooperation for promoting the well-being of the Arctic.

In addressing, planning and implementing common goals, it is important to clearly establish an effective cooperation. Cooperation between the Sámi Parliament and the ministry of the Environment in international environmental negotiations is crucial to achieve common goals. The Sámi Parliament participates in the preparations for the conferences and is part of the delegation of Finland, where the representative of the Sámi Parliament and the ministry of the Environment work together to achieve the best solutions for the Sámi and the environment.

Finally, it is particularly important to know and establish constructive relationships at regional level. Exchange of experience, methodologies and good practice at this level is very useful. Regional meetings and cooperation of different Arctic actors have provided important opportunities to develop capacity and skills and to explore common solutions of our home, the Arctic.

I want to remind us of the principles of full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and appropriate funding to strengthen the participation of indigenous peoples and their institutions in the Arctic cooperation. In addition, capacity-building is important for mutual learning for both indigenous peoples and the Arctic states to respond to our common challenges.

Participation in this important meeting thus carries an important responsibility. Mother Earth needs our attention.

Thank you.


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Links to live webcasts and more information at ym.fi/ArcticEnv2018


For more information

President, the Sámi Parliament in Finland, Tiina Sanila Aikio, tiina.sanila-aikio(at)samediggi.fi, +358 50 300 1780