Announcement of the new SDWG Chair, Oleg Solyakov, following the first SDWG Executive meeting of the Russian Chairmanship

29 June 2021
The first meeting of the Sustainable Development Working Group was held within the framework of the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation in the Arctic Council on 17 June 2021.

On June 17, 2021, within the framework of the Russian chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the first meeting of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) was held in the format of a videoconference. On May 2021, the Chairmanship in the Arctic Council, including the Arctic Council Working Group on Sustainable Development, was transferred from Iceland to Russia. The activities in the Working Group are supervised by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East.

The Russian delegation included representatives of the Department of Technology Development and International Cooperation in the Far East and the Arctic. The SDWG is Chaired by the Deputy Director of the Department, Oleg Solyakov.

The SDWG meeting is traditionally attended by representatives of the Arctic States: Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russian Federation and the United States. The meeting was also attended by Indigenous Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council: Aleut International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Gwich'in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and Saami Council. The meeting participants welcomed the beginning of Russia's chairmanship in the SDWG.

During the meeting, the participants discussed the SDWG Work Plan for 2021-2023 and the Work Plan for the two SDWG expert groups dealing with human health in the Arctic (Arctic Human Health Expert Group) and socio-economic and cultural issues (Social, economic and Cultural Expert Group). The secretariat of the expert groups is hosted at theNational Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University).

The parties discussed a new project for joint implementation: Arctic Community Perspectives on Covid-19 and Public Health. The project was unanimously supported and approved by all participants in the meeting.

The parties also concluded that the Working Group will devote considerable attention to the issues of the "green" economy and "green" energy, climate change, education, preservation, development and popularization of the linguistic and cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples of the North and the Arctic.

At the meeting, the parties additionally discussed organizational issues and the format of further interaction. The next meeting of the AC Sustainable Development Working Group will take place this fall in Arkhangelsk. Meetings of the Working Group are normally held twice a year.