Finland to lead the Freedom Online Coalition in 2021
Finland has been elected as the Chair of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a partnership committed to supporting internet freedoms and promoting respect for human rights, FOC members for the year 2021. The decision was announced on Friday 7 February at the Annual Freedom Online Conference in Accra.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna
On 10 February, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Vienna to attend the third International Conference on Nuclear Security, organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). While in Vienna, Minister Haavisto will meet, among others, Austria’s Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Alexander Schallenberg and Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler.
Development Policy Committee appointed – new role and reformed composition
The Development Policy Committee (DPC) for this government term met at its first plenary session on 6 February 2020. Its key aim is to encourage discussion on development policy at national and, in particular, parliamentary levels. All parliamentary parties and key stakeholders in development policy contexts are represented in the Committee.
Visit to military bases in Lapland in line with OSCE Vienna document
Finland will organise an international visit to Lapland Air Command and Jaeger Brigade on 11 to 15 May 2020. An invitation will be sent to all participating States of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a total of 56 countries.
The European Committee on Social Rights made a ruling against Finland on restricting the right to early childhood education and care
On 4 February, the European Committee on Social Rights issued its ruling on a collective complaint lodged by the Central Union for Child Welfare against Finland in November 2016 concerning the restriction of children's subjective right to early childhood education and care.
Personal Envoy of UN Secretary-General to visit Finland to report on Mozambican peace process
Mirko Manzoni, Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Mozambique and Neha Sanghrajka, Senior Mediation Advisor, will visit Finland on 3–4 February. The Mozambican peace process is in a critical phase as the opposition troops are being demobilised. The aim is to return them to their communities and reintegrate them into a peaceful society.
Finland to lead the Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention
On 31 January, Finland’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Nina Nordström, was elected as Chair of the Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Albania were elected as Vice-Chairs.
Foreign ministers of Sweden and Norway to visit Finland
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Norway’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide will visit Finland on 5–6 February. The two ministers will attend the Hanalys seminar on foreign and security policy at Hanaholmen on 6 February.
Additional funding of 22.5 million euros for civil society organisations’ development cooperation as part of the implementation of the Government Programme
By decision of Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted 22.5 million euros for Finnish civil society organisations’ (CSOs) development cooperation programmes in Africa for 2020–2021.
Representative of northeast Syrian autonomous administration to visit Finland
Dr Abdulkarim Omar, who represents the autonomous administration of northeast Syria, will visit Helsinki on 29–30 January 2020. Omar is Co-Chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in northeast Syria, which has declared itself as an autonomous region.
Minister for Development and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari to the Arctic Frontiers 2020 Conference in Tromsø
Minister for Development and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend the Arctic Frontiers 2020 Conference in Tromsø on 27 January. It is one of the most important regular international events concentrating on Arctic cooperation.
Finland to reopen its embassy in Manila
Finland is preparing the reopening of its embassy in Manila, the Philippines. The Finnish embassy in Manila was closed in 2012 due to cuts in Foreign Service appropriations. Since then, Finland has handled its relations with the Philippines from Malaysia. Customers have been served at Finland’s Consular Office in Manila.
Finland to support disability rights in Syria
Finland is to allocate EUR 4 million to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for use in rehabilitating people with disabilities, including seriously injured civilians, supporting livelihoods and improving attitudes towards people with disabilities in Syria. This is a follow-on from Finland's earlier support for the same purpose.