Finland’s state leadership to attend 75th session of UN General Assembly high-level week virtually

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most events of the high-level week and the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly will be held virtually this year. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will speak at the 75th UN General Assembly

The high-level week events will spread over a period of two weeks. In addition to the General Debate, many other sessions will be held during the high-level week, including a High-level Meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN on Monday 21 September; a Biodiversity Summit on Wednesday 30 September; a Meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on Women's Rights (Beijing+25) on Thursday 1 October; and a Meeting to promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Friday 2 October. On Friday 18 September, prior to these high-level meetings, the SDG Moment meeting relating to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be held.

This year, the theme of the general debate will be commitment to multilateral cooperation and effective global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finland’s delegation will be led by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, who will deliver Finland’s virtual address at the General Debate on Wednesday 23 September. President Niinistö will deliver Finland’s address at both the High-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN, the High-level Meeting on Beijing+25, and the SDG Moment meeting.

Minister Haavisto’s programme during the high-level week will focus on supporting multilateral cooperation and protecting biodiversity.

“Multilateral cooperation is needed now more than ever before. In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN plays an important role. The promotion of human rights and equality are key priorities. It is also important to revive societies in accordance with the principles of sustainable development,” Minister Haavisto says.

Minister Skinnari’s programme during the high-level week will focus on technology, least developed countries and supporting multilateral cooperation. Minister Skinnari will deliver Finland’s address at a ministerial meeting on least developed countries, which will be held on Thursday 17 September.

“We need innovative solutions to be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. In this respect, the work done by the UN Secretary-General to develop digital cooperation is important. The rights of women and girls, in particular, must be protected to help narrow the digital gap,” Minister Skinnari says.

Finland’s central priorities in its UN policy include defending the rules-based international system and strengthening the multilateral system, sustainable development and climate change, prevention of conflicts and mediation, and the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace, freedom, tolerance and equality in all international activities.


More information about the Ministers’ programme:

Anna Salovaara, Director, Unit for UN and General Global Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 018,

Pasi Pöysäri, Director, Unit for Sustainable Development and Climate Policy, tel. +358 295 350 022,

Anu Konttinen, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 574 8755,

Kirsi Airio, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729.