The SCPAR was created in 1994 as a body which would carry on the Arctic parliamentary cooperation between the meetings of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. The Conference, a parliamentary body comprising delegations appointed by the national parliaments of the Arctic States and the European Parliament, meets every two years. The Conference and the Standing Committee take initiatives to further Arctic cooperation and act, in particular, as a parliamentary forum for issues relevant to the work of the Arctic Council, in which the SCPAR takes part as an observer.
Created with the aim to support the establishment of the Arctic Council, the SPCAR has since then actively worked at promoting the work of the Council. It also closely monitors how the Arctic States governments implement Conference Statements, many of them including motions to financially support UArctic.
SCPAR members reiterate their support for UArctic every time they have an opportunity to do so, asking governments in the Arctic region and the institutions of the European Union to support UArctic and its programs, and to provide “increasing funding to the University of the
Arctic to ensure its continuous success.” (Conference Statement, 7th conference, August 2006)
The success of UArctic has been recognized by the SCPAR at all stages if the institution’s development. In the Arctic Cooperation Organizations Report, written for the 4th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region in Rovaniemi
Finland, in 2000, UArctic was described as an organization that “fills a number of essential gaps in higher education in the circumpolar Arctic by providing a framework for academic cooperation that makes sense to people who live in the Arctic. Instead of having to go south for all things associated with higher education, [it] seeks to use the talent, assets and knowledge that exist in the Arctic and, through coordinated sharing of those resources, provide completely new opportunities for students who live in the northern reaches of the Arctic countries.”