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).
Administrative Court partially overturned reclamation of Ministry for Foreign Affairs' development cooperation funding to Zambia National Farmers’ Union
The Zambia National Farmers’ Union appealed to the Administrative Court of Helsinki against the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ decision to reclaim development cooperation funding from the Union related to a case of suspected misuse dating from in 2015. The Administrative Court’s ruling overrules the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ reclamation decision partially.
Ministers are being challenged by the youth in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs programme at the World Village Festival
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will participate in the virtually held World Village Festival on 29–30 May. The theme of the event – future – is prominently featured in the programmes produced by the Ministry.
Finland supports the work of human rights defenders
Human rights defenders play an important role in strengthening democracy-building and in supporting sustainable development. At the same time, however, human rights defenders continue to be subjected to sanctions, which are getting even tighter. The shrinking space of civil society and restrictions on freedom of expression threaten the position of human rights defenders. At an event in April, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto exchanged views with women human rights defenders (WHRDs).
Mikko Kivikoski appointed Deputy Director General of the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
The Government appointed Mikko Kivikoski to serve as Deputy Director General of the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a fixed term from 17 May 2021 to 31 August 2025.
Twinning activities extended to new countries: Finland’s success in winning tenders continues, with Zambia as new beneficiary
Early this year, Twinning activities were extended to seven new countries under the three-year pilot of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). The results of the calls for proposals for the first two pilot projects have already been published, and Finland is very proud to have been awarded both projects. Finland will now help Zambia enhance anti-corruption measures and audits of central government finances. Winning these two tenders is a fine complement to Finland’s recent successes in Twinning projects.
Partners in Development series brought up the role of companies, organisation and universities in development cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Finnish Development NGOs Fingo and Finnish chambers of commerce held a new kind of series of live broadcasts, entitled Partners in Development, in March and April. The series comprised seven events, in which various bodies from different parts of Finland presented their contribution to development cooperation.