Asian Development Bank wants deeper education cooperation with Finland
Education sector representatives from the Asian Development Bank and from Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan are visiting Finland from 22 to 24 March 2023. The aim of the visit is to deepen cooperation in matters related to teacher education, school meals and digital learning.
President of the Republic decides on Finland’s accession to Nato
On 23 March 2023, President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö decided that Finland would commit itself to the North Atlantic Treaty and the Ottawa Agreement, which were accepted by Parliament on 1 March 2023. The presenting minister was Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The President of the Republic also confirmed the acts bringing into force the Treaty and the Agreement.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs granted an authorisation for Russian fertiliser cargo stopped at Port of Kotka
On 9 March, the National Enforcement Authority Finland imposed interim measures to freeze a shipment of fertilisers, loaded on board at the Port of Kotka. The fertilizers were suspected of being under control of a person listed in the EU sanctions against Russia. An investigation, carried out in cooperation among authorities, confirmed the link between the shipment of fertilisers and a sanctioned individual.
The President, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs were among the most visible Finns abroad in 2022
The Finnish missions and embassies report that following the application for NATO membership and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Finland’s political leaders featured prominently in the international media. In 2021, it was Finnish athletes who received most mentions in the international news media, but last year President Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Sanna Marin, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto rose to the top of the list alongside athletes.
Finland to grant additional support to earthquake areas in Türkiye and Syria
Finland will grant additional EUR 12 million in humanitarian assistance to help earthquake survivors in Türkiye and Syria. The support will be used to finance food aid, water services, emergency shelters and protection to those who lost their homes.
Finland convened first in-person meeting of Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality
The priority theme of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held in New York from 6 to 17 March 2023, was technology, innovation and education. The theme of technology and gender equality is important for Finland, and Finland is one of the leaders of the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality, which is part the Generation Equality Forum, a global campaign led by UN Women. The Action Coalition had their first in-person meeting in connection with the CSW session. In addition, Finland organised a high-level side event on why data is critical for gender equality.
World countries to convene for UN Water Conference first time in over 40 years
The previous UN Water Conference took place 46 years ago. Antti Rautavaara, Special Envoy for Water at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tells what the UN Water Conference to be held on 22–24 March 2023 is all about and how water issues are connected to security policy.
EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and matters concerning Tunisia
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 20 March. A joint session of EU foreign and defence ministers will be held on the same day. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen will represent Finland at the joint session. In addition, Minister Haavisto and Minister Kaikkonen will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
High expectations for Finland in gender equality promotion
”Other countries have high expectations for Finland in terms of promoting gender equality,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality. He led the Finnish delegation to the 67th UN session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York during its first high-level week.
Finland issues its fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
Finland’s new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security was published on 13 March. This is Finland’s fourth National Action Plan (NAP), extending from 2023 to the end of 2027. The NAP is the result of a broad-based stakeholder collaboration. Its key objective is to strengthen women’s participation in the area of peace and security, and thereby support efforts to build sustainable peace.
International visibility increases Finland’s influence
Finland’s image grew stronger in 2022. Finland has had remarkable visibility in foreign media, and news about Finland has met with an exceptionally positive reception. In particular, opinions about Finland’s government and people have become even more positive. Increased familiarity with Finland is important as the country seeks ways to influence the world, according to the Country Image Annual Report, published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Views of civil society to Finland for spring session of UN Human Rights Council
Consultation of civil society has become an established part of Finland’s preparations for the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. The views of civil society support the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in its work to promote human rights. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto discussed with a broad spectrum of the Finnish civil society members in February before the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Finland responds to Ukraine’s requests for support
Ukraine has requested support from Finland, particularly to meet the immediate and longer-term needs related to education, the environment and radiation safety. Finland will provide Ukraine with EUR 29 million in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation support.
The Permanent Joint Mechanism between Finland, Sweden and Türkiye met in Brussels
The third meeting of the Permanent Joint Mechanism between Finland, Sweden and Türkiye was held in Brussels on 9 March. The discussions took place at NATO Headquarters. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also participated in the first part of the meeting.