Finland’s Governmental Action Plan on China 2021
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other ministries have jointly updated Finland’s Governmental Action Plan on China from 2010. The Action Plan on China 2021 provides an overall assessment of Finland’s relations and cooperation with China. The rapidly evolving international environment as well as need for relevant, up-to-date information within the government and other actors involved in cooperation with China have made it necessary to update the Action Plan. The Action Plan strengthens the consistent approach and policy line on China and does not entail any new policies.
Amendments to export control of dual-use items starting on 9 September 2021
A new Regulation (EU) 2021/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the control of dual-use items was issued on 20 May 2021. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal L 206 on 11 June 2021, and it will enter into force on 9 September 2021. The currently valid Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 will be observed until that date.
Finland as President of session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Finland will chair the session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 15–17 June 2021. Representatives from more than 180 countries are expected to attend the Conference, which will be held both virtually and at the UN headquarters in New York. A large number of representatives of civil society organisations and UN agencies, dedicated to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, will also attend the Conference. Finland’s delegation will be led by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Finland ranks first in international sustainable development comparison
For the first time, Finland has been ranked number one in an international comparison of sustainable development. The esteemed ranking by the UN and the Bertelsmann Foundation is published annually, and Finland has also been in the top three in earlier years, together with Denmark and Sweden. The comparison assesses countries’ progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
EU development ministers to discuss cooperation with middle income countries and human development
On 14 June, EU development ministers will discuss the EU’s cooperation with middle income countries and exchange views on human development. On Finland’s proposal, the ministers will receive an overview of promoting school meals in the partner countries for development cooperation. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Finland donates EUR one million to support developing countries’ trade
Finland will support the World Trade Organisation’s trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) activities by slightly more than EUR one million in 2021–2022. The support is aimed to strengthen least-developed countries’ trading capacity. The agreement on the support was signed on 10 June 2021 in Geneva.
Centenary celebrations of the autonomy of the Åland Islands set to begin
Next year will mark 100 years since the Åland Islands gained autonomy. The autonomy celebrations will take place throughout the centenary year, from 9 June 2021 to 9 June 2022. Self-government is a part of Finnish democracy and gives the Finnish administrative structure its unique and multi-dimensional nature. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is a part of the anniversary events.
According to the OECD, Finland’s development cooperation has been successful also during the COVID-19 pandemic
Finland has received positive feedback on the good quality and implementation of development cooperation. Particular praise is given for the reforms and results-based approach to development cooperation. This shows in the Mid-term Review of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Foreign Minister Haavisto hosts Nordic–Baltic foreign ministers’ meeting (NB8)
Finland is coordinating cooperation between the Nordic countries and Baltic states in the Nordic–Baltic Eight (NB8) format in 2021. The second foreign ministerial meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday 2 June. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the meeting will be held virtually.
Minister Skinnari to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit St Petersburg on 2–5 June. Minister Skinnari will attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The International Economic Forum will bring together influential leaders from the world of business and economics from various parts of the globe, offering an excellent platform for exchange of views with representatives of business and political life.
Finland supports humanitarian work done by UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA
Finland has allocated one million euros to support the flash appeal for Gaza, launched by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA. The funding will be used to provide, for example, food, shelters and health services to Palestinians in Gaza.
Ministers Skinnari and Lintilä to attend OECD Council on post-pandemic sustainable recovery and organisation’s future priorities
The ministerial council meeting of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be held virtually on 31 May–1 June 2021. The meeting will focus on the economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and the future priorities of the OECD.