Finland’s chairing of the Arctic Council - the intergovernmental forum of Arctic states – started in May 2017 and ended in May 2019. It has been focusing on four themes in the field of health and social wellbeing:
- health risks and the multisectoral One Health approach,
- mental wellness and suicide prevention,
- gender equality
- occupational health and safety.
The health effects of black carbon are also becoming an important item on the Arctic agenda.
Three indivisible pillars of sustainable development support the wellbeing of the people living in the Arctic:
- and environmental.
The human dimension of the Arctic Council’s work covers health, water, energy, infrastructure, and indigenous cultures and languages, and thus contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Finland also supports the strong participation of indigenous peoples in the work of the Arctic Council.
The themes that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health works with mainly falls under the auspices of the Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) and its subgroup Arctic Human Health Expert Group (AHHEG).