Member: Congrès, PCO

Country: Japan


  • Meeting: 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM3)
  • Dates: 8 – 9 May 2021


  • Format: Hybrid: onsite and online participation
  • Hosts: Co-hosted by: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, Japan and Ministry of Education Science and Culture, and Iceland
  • Venue: Toranomon Hills, Tokyo, Japan and online
  • PCO: Congrès Inc. – PCO for all aspects of registration, speaker invitations/correspondence, website, virtual meeting platform development and operation, onsite operation, security broadcasting.
  • Attendance: 200 delegates (approx. 100 onsite, 100 online) from 35 countries and organizations, a new record!

Did you know?

This third Arctic Science Ministerial meeting, co-hosted by Iceland and Japan, was held in Asia for the first time. The first ministerial meeting was initiated by the United States in 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Ministers attended virtually, while representatives from their respective embassies, etc. in Japan attended onsite. A record number, 35 countries and organizations took part in the meeting, including representatives of six Indigenous peoples’ organizations. In the Arctic, 4 million people live in the Arctic, spread across 8 states, of which 10% of which are Indigenous.

  • Challenges and solutions

The meeting was postponed from its original schedule, and various adjustments were being made right up to the last minute, including to the format, a reflection of just how challenging management of an international meeting can be in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Congrès Inc. /we progressed preparations placing absolute top priority on safety and security through thorough countermeasures to prevent the spread of infection. The onsite attendees and all operations staff underwent PCR tests. All persons entering the venue had their temperature measured, and infection prevention partitions were implemented, along with social distancing rules, mask mandate, hand sanitizers around the venue, provision of only sealed drinks. At the end of the day, we were honored and pleased to have delivered a successful meeting.


Highlights from the speakers

  • The keynote address on behalf of Iceland was given by Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen, Economist, who remarked, “The future of the Arctic will be determined to a great extend by today’s youth, as they make choices around the opportunities and challenges they face. That’s why it’s important that we listen to their views, hear their voices—so we have a better understanding of that future.”
  • HAGIUDA Koichi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, Japan expressed, “Japan recognizes the importance of strengthening international cooperation in observation and research, while sharing issues with the Arctic indigenous peoples’ organizations.” “…Japan will start the construction of a new Arctic regional research vessel in 2021 to be equipped with drones and other advanced, high-precision, multi-item observing gear. The new research vessel will also adopt a dual-fuel engine that partially uses liquefied natural gas for propulsion to reduce its ecological footprint in the vulnerable Arctic Ocean.” He indicated that the new research vessel will be intended to “operate as an international observing platform open to researchers from many other nations for collaborative research and the sharing of observed data. Enhancing the observing and research efforts in the Arctic Ocean will be indispensable if we wish to understand the full scope of global climate change.” Secondly, Japan is committed to strengthening capacity building for Arctic research, and he stated, “It is also necessary to develop young human resources through international cooperation. Japan intends to accelerate its efforts and contribute to the enhancement of knowledge for the sustainable utilization of the Arctic.”
  • The Minister of Education and Culture, Iceland, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, noted that, “Emphasis on the Arctic is now at the forefront of international policy where much is at stake.” “The threat of climate change is grave and immediate, our collective efforts to both adapt to and reverse this threat must be quick and buoyant with the spirit of cooperation.”