As the Arctic Council turns twenty in 2016, it is time to assess its achievements. Its evolution as an international forum has been remarkable, and its role has been strengthened.
For the past two decades, we have enjoyed stability and good relations in the Arctic. Cooperative efforts across the borders continue to be essential when we face the challenges of climate change and globalization. Our lives are tied together with a common past, and we share a common future.
Greater understanding of the Arctic through research and scientific cooperation is one of the success stories of Arctic cooperation. The top of the world is no longer an unknown region. The University of the Arctic created by the Arctic Council has greatly contributed to this achievement. Finland is proud that UArctic was officially launched in Rovaniemi in 2001, and it is a growing network for universities and research institutes from Arctic and also non-Arctic countries.
The result of the Paris Climate Conference is welcomed by all Arctic countries and peoples. It gives a good starting point for the next twenty years of Arctic cooperation with its challenges and opportunities.