Finland has today condemned Iran’s missile attacks on OIR bases in Erbil and Ayn al-Asad
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto called Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif, expressing that Finland firmly condemns the attack and demanding an explanation as to why crisis management troops taking part in counter-terrorism were targeted. Minister Zarif reiterated Iran’s views and assured that Iran has no intention of escalating the situation any further.
Negotiations on the accession of EU to the European Convention on Human Rights to be started - Finland paved the way for this
The negotiations on the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) will start in Strasbourg in March 2020. Notable progress towards this was made this autumn as the Council of the EU gave supplementary negotiating directives to the Commission, which conducts the negotiations on behalf of the EU, and reaffirmed the EU’s willingness to resume the negotiations with the parties to the ECHR.
Hybrid threats, the Arctic and Africa on foreign and security policy agenda of Finland’s Presidency
Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU has meant a full calendar for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. On the other hand, it has provided new opportunities for making things happen. The Ministry’s experts have chaired some 30 EU working parties of the Council preparing a wide range of decisions on policy issues ranging from trade to humanitarian affairs. Finland’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels has borne the brunt of the Presidency effort. Experts from all the administrative branches have been involved in the daily toil of chairing the bodies preparing EU decisions. Finland’s missions abroad have also contributed to disseminating the Presidency’s messages.
Finland’s diplomatic missions highlight climate issues in host countries
One of the key objectives of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU has been to turn the European Union into a global climate leader. The 90 diplomatic and consular missions of Finland abroad have now risen to the challenge. The missions have addressed climate change in diverse ways, ranging from ways to exercise political influence to environmentally friendly choices in everyday life.
Ritva Reinikka appointed Professor of Practice in development economics
Researcher and expert in development policy, Ph.D. in Economics Ritva Reinikka, has been appointed Professor of Practice in development economics. Her professorship is funded in part using development cooperation funds and will be based at the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics.
Ambassador Marja Lehto promotes environmental protection in armed conflicts at the UN
Armed conflicts can cause major damage to the environment: Oil wells have been set on fire in Kuwait, factories processing chemical substances have been destroyed in the war in Syria and protected forests have been devastated in Colombia. Destruction of the environment can be used as a method of warfare, but the direct environmental impacts of armed conflicts are only the tip of the iceberg.
TAIEX: Cooperation and development of skills
The European Union promotes the development of its neighbouring regions in various ways. One of the financial instruments is TAIEX, a short-term technical assistance and information exchange programme, which supports the development and reform of public administration and legislation in partner countries. TAIEX reaches between 25,000 and 30,000 officials each year.
Media event on the EU's Eastern Partnership in Helsinki
As part of the programme of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the European Commission will co-organise a media event Stronger Together – Eastern Partnership Media Conference in Helsinki on 11–12 December. The aim of the event is to support the EU's Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy and to promote reforms, civil society activities and resilience of societies in the partner countries.
Finland punches above its weight in polar regions
The first of December marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. In the early 20th century, seven countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) staked a claim to some part of the territory of Antarctica. Some of those territorial claims overlapped.
Joint statement on joining INSTEX by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden
Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden attach the utmost importance to the preservation and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) on Iran’s nuclear programme by all parties involved.
Climate change calls for action in the Arctic region
Sustainable Arctic and Antarctic policies play an integral role in combating climate change. In the seventh part of the “Sustainable Foreign Policy” series, Petteri Vuorimäki, Finland’s Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic Affairs, tells us about Finland’s expertise in dealing with cold conditions and its active role in polar policy. Arctic issues will also be discussed at the a Clean and Global North event at Finlandia Hall on 29 November.
Twinning: Finland to strengthen Albania’s Security Academy
Finland and Estonia will start to develop the Albanian Security Academy in a two-year Twinning project. The project supports the capacity of the Security Academy to provide high-quality security sector training and to carry out research activities. A joint tender by Finland and Estonia won the tender competition for the project.
Advancing gender equality is ever more important
Finland’s foreign policy aims to promote equality between women and men and support the full materialisation of girls’ and women’s rights. How is gender equality realised today? We asked Finland’s Ambassador for Gender Equality, Katri Viinikka, for her thoughts in this sixth part of the “Sustainable Foreign Policy” series.
Africa is an important partner
In recent years, African countries have increased their visibility in the eyes of the international community. This trend can be seen also in the priorities of the European Commission’s external relations and Finland’s foreign policy. In the fifth part of the “Sustainable Foreign Policy” series, Maria Kurikkala who leads the Africa Policy Team sheds light on the reasons underlying the current interest.
Turbulent autumn ahead for trade policy
The crisis in the multilateral trade system, the US–China trade war, and the promotion of the EU's wide interests have dominated the trade policy agenda during Finland’s six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU. What are the next topics to watch out for? We asked Pasi-Heikki Vaaranmaa, Director of the Trade Policy Unit at the Department for External Economic Relations at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for his thoughts in this fourth part of the “Sustainable Foreign Policy” series.