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First Step taken towards Arctic Health Cooperation

17-02-2011
PRESS RELEASE - Today, the Arctic health ministers took the first steps towards a closer cooperation on health issues at the very first Arctic Health Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting took place under the headline “Shared Challenges – Different Solutions”.

Today, the Arctic health ministers took the first steps towards a closer cooperation on health issues at the very first Arctic Health Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting took place under the headline “Shared Challenges – Different Solutions”.  

The Arctic countries share a number of common challenges, for example, an increase in the number of lifestyle related diseases, the persistence of infectious diseases, mental illnesses, substance abuse and suicide.  

Shared challenges entail a need for cooperation on common solutions. Following a day of presentations by leading experts in Arctic Human Health and roundtable discussions among government and Indigenous Peoples’ representatives, it became clear that the Arctic countries have an interest in cooperating on health issues.  

The Arctic countries can, in particular, learn from each other when it comes to promotion of healthy lifestyles, the use of telemedicine and research in the Arctic region. Also, the treatment of mental illnesses and the prevention of substance abuse and suicides are important areas where Arctic countries have an interest in sharing their knowledge and experience.  

The meeting was concluded by the signing of “The Arctic Health Declaration”, an expression of the Arctic countries intention of strengthened circumpolar cooperation on health issues.  

In the declaration, the Arctic countries also agree to share best practise and to further develop their cooperation with the objective to ensure increased participation in health research of Arctic Indigenous Peoples.  

”I’m pleased that we in the Arctic region have taken this initiative to promote closer dialogue on health issues with the purpose of improving joint solutions”, says Minister of Health of Greenland, Agathe Fontain.  

”We can learn a lot from each other and hopefully this meeting marks the beginning of a new tradition”, says Minister of the Interior and Health of Denmark, Bertel Haarder.  

“The Arctic Health Declaration” is available here and at www.nanoq.gl and www.peqqik.gl    

For additional information please contact:

  • Department of Health, Permanent Secretary Ann B. Kjeldsen: tel: (+299) 48 49 15 or e-mail abk@nanoq.gl    
  • Head of Division Katrine Schjønning, tel +45 2527 5632 or e-mail ksc@im.dk

Sidst opdateret 17-02-2011

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