Finland supports Iraq’s fight against the spread of coronavirus
Finland has committed EUR 2 million to support Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is part of Finland’s development cooperation carried out in Iraq. The funds will be channelled to Iraq via the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), administered by UNDP.
European Committee of Social Rights ruled on pay equality in Finland
The European Committee of Social Rights stated in its decision published on 29 June that the measures to reduce the gender pay gap have not been sufficiently effective in Finland when measured by the gender pay gap in the whole labour market. The Committee also considered that the legal remedies available in Finland are not sufficient in a situation where a person is dismissed as a countermeasure to the requirement of equal pay, because the Finnish law does not require the reinstatement of employment.
New Ambassadors to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok
At the presidential session on 26 June, the President of the Republic decided to appoint Sami Leino to the post of Head of Mission at Finland's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Jyri Järviaho to the post of Head of Mission at Finland's Embassy in Bangkok, starting on 1 September 2020.
Government plans to lift restrictions on tourism
The Government plans to lift the internal border control from 13 July for those countries where the incidence of COVID-19 is at a sufficiently low level. Based on the current development of the epidemic, internal border control could be lifted for the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Transparency of Finland’s development aid remains average in donor transparency index
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs ranked 29th among the 47 donors in the aid transparency index for 2020, which is published by Publish What You Fund. The transparency points of Finland’s development aid increased slightly, but the rating remained average and the ranking fell as other organisations improved their transparency relatively more.
Limited reception of residence permit applications to resume in Finnish missions abroad
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finland suspended the reception of ordinary visa and residence permit applications starting on 19 March 2020. The reception of ordinary visa applications continues to be suspended but activities relating to residence permit applications were gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.
Finland supports innovative forest inventory in Myanmar
Myanmar is launching a forest inventory project, which will be carried out also in conflict areas. Finland will allocate EUR 3.45 million in development cooperation appropriations to support the project in the first two years of its implementation.
Uzbekistan-Finland Intergovernmental Commission of Trade and Economic Cooperation supports trade, investments and project cooperation
The Intergovernmental Commission of Trade and Economic Cooperation between Finland and Uzbekistan held a video conference on 16 June 2020. The Commission was co-chaired by Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss transatlantic relations
EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal video conference on 15 June. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The meeting will focus on the relations between the EU and the United States. Ministers will have a discussion with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo via a video connection.
Everyone has the right to leave Finland; however, non-essential travel should be avoided
Coronavirus and its spread are still a global risk. Starting on 15 June, internal border control and quarantine recommendations will change in respect of certain countries, but it is recommended to avoid non-essential travel to other countries. The changes will apply to travel to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Although Finland has abandoned internal border controls and quarantine recommendations for certain countries, the country of destination may have its own restrictions on the entry of tourists. Always check the up-to-date entry regulations from the authorities of the country of destination, for example from the country’s nearest mission.
Parliamentary Committee on Crisis Management started its work
In line with Prime Minister Marin's Government Programme, the Government appointed a Parliamentary Committee for Crisis Management for the period of 6.3.2020 to 28.2.2021. The committee will draft a comprehensive policy outline, extending over government terms, to make activities systematically more effective and to ensure better use of resources. The start of the Committee’s work was delayed due to the coronavirus situation, but it was launched at a meeting on 11 June, taking stock of the current state and prospects of Finland's participation in crisis management.
Evaluation: Finland is globally influential in multilateral development cooperation
A comprehensive assessment of Finland’s multilateral influence shows that Finland has been able to make a significant contribution to the activities of multilateral organisations and to promote themes that it considers important globally.
Hearing the voice of developing countries on global tax policy
Finland's new Taxation for Development Action Programme 2020–2023 was published on 9 June. The speakers in the online publishing event commended the demand for tax responsibility and emphasised strengthening Africa’s own taxation capacity and listening to the voices of developing countries when it comes to global tax policy.
The pandemic underscores the importance of Internet freedom
Fighting the pandemic requires access to factual information on the Internet. How to bridge the divide between the digital haves and have-nots? How to defend the rule of law and human rights in these exceptional times? These were some of the questions debated in the panel discussion marking the publication of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) Joint Statement on COVID-19 and Internet Freedom.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting
On 11 June, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers between the EU and its Eastern Partnership countries. At the meeting, the ministers will discuss the EU’s support to Eastern Partnership countries during the coronavirus pandemic and the future priorities of cooperation. Preparations for the meeting of Heads of State or Government of the Eastern Partnership, to be held on 18 June, will also be on the agenda.
Hunger slows down development – food security is the foundation for the development of society
Food security lies at the heart of the development of societies and is one of the factors guaranteeing civil peace, says Sanna-Liisa Taivalmaa, Senior Adviser for Rural Development. Three questions about development cooperation is a series of interviews with specialists from the Department for Development Policy.
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