Finland co-hosts international conference to support Afghanistan

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-organised by Finland, the United Nations and the Afghan Government, will be held on Monday and Tuesday, 23–24 November. The conference will take place in the middle of a historic peace process. Continuing support from the international community is needed to have a sustainable foundation for the peace process and to achieve peace. Finland’s representatives at the conference will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the ministerial conference will be held virtually with Geneva as the hub of logistics.

“Organising the conference under these circumstances is a remarkable achievement for Finland. It is important that we support Afghanistan now — significant results have already been achieved through support provided by the international community, including Finland. In fact, international support and long-term commitment to Afghanistan is now more important than ever before,” says Janne Taalas, Finland's Special Envoy to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference.

Finland supports, significant results achieved

Finland supports Afghanistan through development cooperation and humanitarian aid, as well as by participating in military and civilian crisis management. Finland exerts influence in the country as a Member State of the European Union and as part of the international community. Finland is a strong promoter of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

To date, the support provided by the international community and Finland has led to significant results in Afghanistan, for example when it comes to access to education and health services. The number of children going to school has grown almost tenfold, 40% of schoolchildren are girls, people’s general life expectancy has risen to nearly 60 years, and 80% of the citizens have access to health services.

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference to be held on 23 and 24 November can be followed live on the UN website. Interpretation into the six official languages of the UN will be provided.