Finland exerts influence through crisis management

At its third session on 8 October 2020, the Parliamentary Committee on Crisis Management examined the resources of Finland's crisis management activities in relation to the needs of international crisis management, both now and in the future.

Attention was paid to the recruitment and training of Finnish crisis management personnel and, in particular, to Finland's aim of increasing and promoting women's greater participation and role in crisis management, which is an important objective also internationally.  

“At its best, comprehensive crisis management can increase Finland’s effectiveness both internationally and in a given operation area. It will also improve our national performance and capabilities”, says State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori, who chairs the Committee. 

Increasing national effectiveness requires, among other things, that Finland be able to provide a given operation with such capabilities and equipment that meet the needs of the target country and the operation. The changes that have occurred in the operating environment of crisis management naturally pose new challenges for troops, capabilities, funding, technology and training. Crisis management training must also be further adapted to the needs arising from the operating environment. 

“By further increasing the number of women in its own crisis management activities, Finland can encourage the participation of women both in the field and internationally. The attitudes must be changed,” says Jouni Ovaska, Member of Parliament and vice-chair of the Committee. 

“It is important that we maintain and increase Finnish experts’ interest in international crisis management tasks and support the competence development of those working in these so that they can assume even more demanding positions. Access to leadership positions in crisis management is of key importance from the perspective of both effectiveness and Finland's international profile,” emphasises Kirsi Henriksson, Director of CMC Finland and former Head of the European Union EUCAP Sahel Niger civilian crisis management mission. 

Finland can be considered a frontrunner when it comes to a balanced representation of both genders in crisis management. Already for a longer time, about 40 per cent of Finnish civilian crisis management experts have been women. This is one of the highest figures in the world.

A number of Finnish women have also held leadership positions in crisis management operations. Women have served in military crisis management tasks since 1991, and currently account for about 5 per cent of all Finnish peacekeepers. The aim is to reach the 15 per cent target set by the UN. 

At its session,  the Committee heard as experts Finns who have worked or are working in leadership positions in civilian and military crisis management operations. In the practical field work, there are positive experiences of the implementation of the comprehensive approach to crisis management. Comprehensiveness means that the approach must be taken into consideration already in the mandates for operations. 

The Parliamentary Committee on Crisis Management, appointed for a term beginning on 6 March 2020 and ending on 28 February 2021, is tasked with preparing a comprehensive crisis management policy setting out objectives and extending across parliamentary terms.  The work is scheduled to be completed in February 2021.

Inquiries:

Sari Rautio, Director, Secretary-General of the Committee, tel. +358 295 351 534
The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.