Finland opens embassies in Dakar and Doha
Today, the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö approved an amendment to the Decree of the President of the Republic on the Foreign Service. The amendment concerning the locations of Finland’s diplomatic missions and the provision of consular services in the Diplomatic Service will enter into force on 10 December 2021. With the amendment, embassies of Finland will be established in Dakar, Senegal, and in Doha, Qatar, as of 10 December 2021.
Humanitarian assistance is needed more than ever before — Finland strengthens food security and supports safe childbirths in crisis areas
The UN estimates that 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. The needs are increasing, for example due to the escalation of conflicts in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Finland will increase its support for the alleviation of human suffering in crisis areas, which is why Finland will raise its funding for humanitarian assistance to EUR 113 million this year.
OpenAid.fi is a new website presenting data on the use of Finland’s development cooperation funds
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published a website on where, how and when Finland’s development cooperation funds are used. Launching this public site increases the openness and transparency of development cooperation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to host a Freedom Online Conference at foreign ministerial level
The 10th anniversary of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) will be celebrated at the end of Finland’s Chairship. On 3 December, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will host a virtual Conference of foreign ministers representing 34 FOC member governments. The Freedom Online Coalition 10th Anniversary Helsinki Declaration for open and accessible internet and human rights-based digitalisation will be launched at the Conference.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which will be held in Stockholm on 1–2 December. Sweden holds the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2021. The meeting will discuss, among others, conflicts in the OSCE region as well as the situation in Afghanistan and its wider security impacts.
Support for international non-governmental organisations to promote human rights in developing countries
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 17.82 million to international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) for 2022–2024. Support was granted to 11 international human rights organisations operating in developing countries, whose work focuses on four themes: ending impunity; supporting human rights defenders; strengthening the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and addressing discriminatory practices; and business and human rights.
Delegation from Kosovo visits Finland
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation will host a delegation from Kosovo on 1 to 3 December 2021 in Helsinki, Finland. The delegation consists of political decision-makers. During their three-day stay in Helsinki, the delegation has meetings with Finnish and international experts.
Finland to chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2025
On 30 November 2021, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided that Finland is to chair the organisation in 2025. The year 2025 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which was adopted at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1975.
Minister Haavisto to attend meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs
NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet from 30 November to 1 December 2021 in Riga. Finland and Sweden as NATO partner countries and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are invited to participate in the discussion concerning the Western Balkans region, which will be held on 1 December. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean wants closer cooperation
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona on Monday 29 November. A foreign ministerial meeting of the European Union and Southern Neighbourhood will be held on the same day.
Funding allocated to Finnish civil society organisations for reducing poverty and inequality
Programme-based support for Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) is allocated for the implementation of Finland’s development policy objectives to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and promote human rights. The work is carried out in close cooperation with developing countries’ own CSOs. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted approximately EUR 276 million for Finnish CSO’s multiannual development cooperation in 2022–2025.
Changes to fees for identity cards and passports issued by missions as of 1 January 2022
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has issued a Decree on the Amendment of Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service for 2020–2022. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2022 and will remain in force until 31 December 2022.
Social security agreement between Finland and Japan enters into force on 1 February 2022
The social security agreement between Finland and Japan will enter into force on 1 February 2022. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, and Takashi Murata, Japan’s Ambassador to Finland, exchanged notes on 25 November to bring the bilateral agreement into force. When the agreement enters into force, workers posted to a Contracting State will avoid double pension and unemployment insurance contributions.
Thursday is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – Merikasarmi to be lit up in orange
The United Nations has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day begins an annual international campaign called 16 Days of Activism, which draws attention to this important human rights violation. During the day, well-known buildings around the world will be illuminated in orange – the colour chosen to symbolise the day. This year, the Government will observe the day by illuminating the Merikasarmi building of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Minister Blomqvist to Nordic conference on Faeroe Islands to discuss experiences during COVID-19 pandemic
On 25 November, Minister for Nordic Cooperation Thomas Blomqvist will attend a conference in Torshavn on the Faeroe Islands. The conference will discuss the experiences gained from crisis management in the Nordic countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and future Nordic cooperation in crisis preparedness. This is one of the key priorities for Finland’s Presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021.
Minister Skinnari to visit Oslo
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Oslo on 22–23 November. Minister Skinnari will meet ministers of Norway’s new Government and visit a waste treatment plant that makes use of carbon capture technologies. The Minister will also attend a seminar organised by the Finnish and Norwegian Shipowners Associations and the Embassy of Finland in Oslo.