Preparation of Government’s Human Rights Report under way: participate in online consultation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will hold an online consultation on the preparation of the Government new Human Rights Report on Thursday 10 September at 10.00–12.30. This online consultation will discuss matters raised on the draft document during the consultation process.
Foreign ministers meet in Berlin to discuss EU-Russia relations, Turkey and the situation in Belarus
On 27 and 28 August, EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal meeting (Gymnich), hosted by the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. Foreign ministers will discuss the EU-Russia relations, Turkey, and the situation in Belarus. They will also have a discussion on the geopolitical impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the EU's strategic response to them.
Virtual Team Finland Day attracts more than 1,000 participants
In addition to representing a challenge for Finland’s wellbeing, the coronavirus has also hit export companies, scrapping plans altogether or forcing companies to rethink their plans. How are companies adapting to the new situation? How does the pandemic affect export promotion?
Centre for Mediation to be set up at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
In the past ten years, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has consistently strengthened the position of mediation at international and national levels. In accordance with the Government Programme, mediation is one of the most important priorities in Finland’s foreign policy. To boost the implementation of the objective, Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto has decided to set up a Centre for Mediation under the administration of the Ministry’s Political Department.
Ambassadors to meet virtually this year
The Heads of Finnish Missions abroad will convene for their annual meeting on 24-26 August. Exceptionally, the meeting will be held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting will discuss how the world looks like during and after the coronavirus and how Finland is able to succeed in the future. The participants will approach the theme by assessing Finland’s foreign and security policy environment, for example.
World Humanitarian Day commemorates aid workers – Finland grants new aid to crisis areas
On World Humanitarian Day 19 August, the world pays attention to global humanitarian needs and honours the people who, in the midst of conflicts and natural disasters, support those in need. This year, the theme of the day is ‘real life heroes’. The majority of aid workers are local people who, in difficult and often dangerous circumstances, carry out humanitarian work to alleviate the distress of others.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss the situation in eastern Mediterranean and Belarus
EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal video conference on 14 August. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics of discussion will be the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Belarus. The situation in Lebanon and Venezuela will also be addressed.
Next year´s budget to strengthen Finland´s international effectiveness and support the post-crisis measures of the coronavirus pandemic
The budget proposal of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs covering the administrative sector for which it is responsible totals EUR 1.3 billion. It is EUR 29 million more than in the 2020 budget. Of the appropriations under the main expenditure title, the Foreign Service accounts for 21%, crisis management 6%, international development cooperation 66% and other expenditure 7%.
Foreign Minister Haavisto discusses with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto held a telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, 12 August 2020. In addition to the coronavirus situation, the ministers discussed issues relating to the European Union and Russia, the conflict in Ukraine, international Arctic cooperation and international arms control. The ministers also discussed bilateral issues between Finland and Russia and regional issues.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Riga
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Riga on 11 August 2020. He will attend the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace between Latvia and Soviet Russia. Haavisto will also have discussions with Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Foreign Minister Haavisto participated in support conference on Lebanon and the Beirut explosions
On 9 August 2020, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto took part in a support conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on Lebanon and the explosion that shook Beirut on 4 August 2020.
EU-Vietnam free trade agreement takes effect
A free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam will enter into force on 1 August 2020. The agreement will open doors to a growing market of over 95 million consumers. “The agreement offers new opportunities for Finnish companies in Vietnam,” says Minister Skinnari.
Minister Haavisto in Iraq: “Finland supports Iraq’s stabilisation”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto visited Iraq on 22–23 July at the invitation of Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein. The central purpose of the visit was to establish relations with Iraq’s new Government, to express support for Iraq’s stabilisation efforts, and to exchange views on topical bilateral and regional questions. Iraq is located in Europe’s neighbouring region and is an important country geopolitically. Its stability and the start of reconstruction are strongly in the interest of Finland and the whole European Union.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Iraq
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto is visiting Iraq. During the visit, Foreign Minister Haavisto will have meetings with the country’s leadership and officially open the Finnish Embassy in Baghdad, which was reopened in autumn 2019. He will also meet the Finnish Crisis Management Force in Iraq.
Finland supports digitalisation of higher education in developing countries
Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted project funding under HEI ICI programme for 2020–2024. Over the next four years, the programme will support cooperation projects between higher education institutions in Finland and developing countries by EUR 11.2 million.
Foreign Affairs Council meets in Brussels to discuss Latin America and EU-Turkey relations
On 13 July, foreign ministers of the Member States of the European Union will convene for a Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main issues on the agenda will be the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean and the EU-Turkey relations. Other topical matters of discussion will be Hong Kong and the Middle East Peace Process. The meeting is the first EU meeting at ministerial level where ministers are physically present after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.
Foreign Ministry continues to promote youths’ peace work in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting the Salam project
The Foreign Ministry’s Salam project, which promotes peace and reconciliation, will continue in the form of annual workshops until 2023. The project aims to provide Iraqi and Afghan youth with opportunities for networking and accumulating knowledge about peace work and about how to use media skills as a way of exerting influence.