There is no sustainable development and democracy without free civil societies
Civil society has played a key role in Finland's development. In a similar vein, civil society organisations’ contribution is needed in developing countries, says Anu Ala-Rantala, senior officer of the Unit for Civil Society. In our series entitled ‘Three questions about development cooperation’, we ask Foreign Service specialists about their work.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend video conference of EU foreign ministers on Middle East and North Africa
EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an informal video conference on Friday 15 May. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland at the meeting which will focus on the wider Middle East and North Africa and on the Middle East peace process.
Coronavirus crisis heightens inequality and distress among vulnerable groups
The coronavirus crisis exacerbates the position of people who were already in a vulnerable situation before the outbreak of the pandemic. This shows for example in Lebanon, which has the world’s highest refugee population in proportional terms, and in South Africa, which is one the most unequal societies of the world.
Finland supports IAEA efforts to advance coronavirus testing worldwide
With support from Finland, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide testing equipment needed in detecting the coronavirus to the IAEA member states that have requested support. The fight against the coronavirus pandemic requires extensive testing worldwide. Support from the IAEA is helping to increase testing capacity in the countries most in need.
Evaluation: Finland has reached good results in fragile countries and in conflict-ridden environments
Finland’s country strategies are of varying importance in fragile countries and circumstances but they provide opportunities for strengthening the internal and external policy coherence for development.
Finland — globally active
The whole world suffers from the crisis caused by coronavirus. No country can alone resolve the crisis. Common solutions are needed. In a video series entitled ‘Finland across the world’, produced by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Service specialists tell about the big picture relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the impacts of the situation on the world, and Finland’s response to the crisis.
Elina Ravantti appointed Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
On 7 May, the Government appointed Elina Ravantti as Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She will take up her duties on 15 June 2020 and the term of office will end on 28 February 2025. Ravantti is currently Head of Yle Journalism Academy.
Finland to enhance Europeans’ digital skills – Elements of AI online course to be launched in EU countries
Finland will make the Elements of AI online course available to EU citizens in 2020–2021. The objective is to train one per cent of EU citizens in the basics of artificial intelligence, thereby strengthening digital competence within the EU. The course will be published first in Latvia on 6 May 2020.
Vital remittances to Nepal at risk due to coronavirus outbreak, says Ambassador Pertti Anttinen
Migrant workers’ remittances to their home countries have declined due to the coronavirus crisis. In Nepal, more than half of households depend on remittances from abroad that account for over one quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). We interviewed Pertti Anttinen, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal, on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on remittances in Nepal.
Twinning: Statistics Finland wins project in Azerbaijan and Finland reaches a total of 200 projects
Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands will start developing the production of statistics in Azerbaijan through a Twinning project that will last a year and a half. The goals of the project are central to strengthening business-related statistics. A joint tender by Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands won the tender competition for the project. This is Finland's two hundredth Twinning project.
Foreign Ministry's repatriation flights
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish missions abroad will continue to advise and assist travellers in returning from abroad. Commercial air connections continue to be the preferred option to return to Finland. Travellers should actively try to arrange a ticket back home via different airlines.
According to the Foreign Ministry’s Job Satisfaction Survey, staff are most satisfied with the operating culture in the workplace and the content of work
The analysis of the Job Satisfaction Survey, conducted in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in its missions abroad, has been completed and the results are now available. In the Ministry, job satisfaction has remained at the same level as it was in the previous survey, which was conducted in 2018. Job satisfaction in the missions abroad has improved. The overall results are at the same level as in surveys conducted in other central government organisations.
Society's norms man-made and can be changed – Gender Equality Adviser is inspired by people’s energy and activity
Senior Adviser for Gender Equality Eppu Mikkonen-Jeanneret was in primary school when she realised that gender-based patterns of behaviour can be ignored. Equality work is needed in the fight against coronavirus, too, because the gendered repercussions will be enormous. In our series entitled ‘Three questions about development cooperation’, we ask specialists about their work.
Foreign Ministry’s assistance abroad reinforced remotely from Helsinki during coronavirus crisis
Because of the coronavirus crisis, tens of thousands of Finnish travellers have returned home in recent weeks. The Finnish missions abroad help travellers around the world, but the need for help shows also in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki, as the number of contacts to the Ministry’s 24/7 Service Centre, consular services and the social media has skyrocketed.
EU Foreign Affairs Ministers’ video conference discussed Ukraine and Eastern Partnership
Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership, together with the impact of coronavirus on these regions, were the main themes of the video conference held by the EU’s Foreign Affairs Ministers on 22 April. The discussions also touched on Turkey, Afghanistan and Libya.
Foreign Ministry helps travellers stranded abroad during coronavirus pandemic through subsidised repatriation flights
So far, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has organised twelve repatriation flights in cooperation with Finnair. Altogether, 2,486 passengers have been carried home, approximately half of them Finns. This is the first article in a series about the things that have been done by the Foreign Ministry in Finland and in the missions abroad during the coronavirus crisis.
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