Report on Development Policy promotes Finland’s long-term and coherent approach to development cooperation
The Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms strengthens the long-term approach in Finnish development cooperation from the perspective of principles, values and goals, and makes development policy more focused. In order to achieve results, development policy must be conducted in a coherent manner.
On 27 May 2021, the Government adopted the Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms. A parliamentary monitoring group representing all parliamentary parties took part in the preparation of this report, and various sectors in society were consulted extensively during the preparative phase. The aim was to form a shared overall view on development policy, widely supported by Finnish society.
The Report reiterates that development policy is an integral part of Finland’s foreign and security policy, which aims to enhance security and wellbeing through international cooperation. Finland’s development policy promotes the worldwide goal aiming at sustainable poverty reduction and the realisation of fundamental rights, the rules-based multilateral system, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in the UN.
“Finnish development cooperation has reached good results, and it is in the interest of Finland to adhere to measures that sustain this positive trend. Principles that are valid across parliamentary terms ensure that the direction in development policy remains clear – this offers us the best opportunities to make this work as effective as possible,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Development policy priorities are based on Finland’s strengths, promoted through cooperation
Finland’s development cooperation aims at strengthening developing countries’ own societies, including the promotion of non-discrimination and the basis of their economies.
In its development policy, Finland emphasises themes that are founded on its own values and strengths. These include the rights of women and girls, good quality training and education, sustainable economy and decent work, democratic societies and climate change, biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources. In addition, Finland gives humanitarian assistance to help people who are suffering from acute crises.
At the same time, the Report reforms Finland’s development policy. Matters that are highlighted includes the rising role of innovations and digitalisation, because these may lead to new solutions that support positive development. The UN sustainable development goals, focus on climate, sustainable green growth, clean energy and circular economy, are essential elements of the work.
Finland’s development policy and development cooperation are more closely than before based on active participation by the Finnish public sector, civil society, companies, and research and educational institutions as well as on strong partnerships between them. International cooperation with partner countries, multilateral organisations and development finance institutions plays an important role.
“By means of partnerships, Finland can take a globally influential role and help to achieve positive impacts that improve people’s wellbeing and the development of their societies in a more effective and more sustainable manner than before. For organisations, companies and the rest of society, development cooperation offers new networking opportunities and expands the range of collaboration opportunities in the commercial sector,” Minister Skinnari says.
Finland increases its official development assistance gradually
Globally, the need for funding needed to meet the UN SDGs is estimated to be thousands of billions of euros on an annual basis, and a substantial part of the financing gap affects developing countries. The international community is committed to directing all relevant international funding – also private funding and developing countries’ domestic revenue – to ends that support the achievement of the SDGs better than before. The aim is that, over time, developing countries would be able to finance their wellbeing through economic growth and sufficient taxation capacity.
In the UN, Finland is committed to directing 0.7 per cent of GNI to development cooperation and 0.2 per cent of GNI to the least developed countries. The 2019 Government Programme requires that Finland set out a roadmap and timetable for attaining the UN goals.
Finland is increasing its funding for development cooperation gradually and systematically over several parliamentary terms. The target year set for the attainment of the 0.7% level is 2030 Finland aims to attain the target of 0.2% of GNI to the least developed countries as soon as possible.
Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729
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