Over 2000 participants from 60 countries attended the fifth Arctic Circle Assembly. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I delivered a keynote address identifying the responsibility of the world's religious communities to address the human impacts of climate change. Indigenous leaders from the Arctic and other parts of the world discussed the role of traditional knowledge in understanding and adapting to climate change. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan hosted an evening of Japanese musical performances alongside an introduction to Japanese Arctic research. In total, over 600 speakers participated in the Assembly's 120 sessions.
Over 2000 participants from more than 45 countries attended the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, accepted the first Arctic Circle Prize for his role in the negotiations on international climate cooperation during his mandate. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland gave a keynote presentation about her country's role in the Arctic.