From his home country Finland, Santa Claus confirms Christmas deliveries will proceed
The year 2020 has been like no other year in recent memory. Anytime humanity faces difficult challenges, children have even more questions and concerns than usual about what is happening in the world. The coronavirus has affected the lives of just about everyone on the planet, regardless of age.
EU development policy proved agile in responding to coronavirus outbreak in spring in Namibia
The European Union together with its Member States is the world's largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA). In the second article in a series about the development cooperation conducted by the European Union, Ambassador Sinikka Antila, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Namibia, tells about the EU’s activity in Namibia.
New Head of Mission to the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU and an authorisation to represent Finland in Azerbaijan
At the presidential session on Friday 27 November, the President of the Republic appointed a new Head of Mission to the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union and decided on an authorisation to represent Finland in Azerbaijan.
Combating disinformation to protect human rights
More and more false and harmful information is deliberately disseminated especially in electronic information networks. The intentions behind dissemination of disinformation are varied: to undermine faith in democratic institutions, to sow discord between population groups, to put blame on and discriminate against minorities, to silence researchers and journalists, to win elections, and to gain personal or economic benefit. Unfortunately, the list is long and expanding.
Civil Society Statement at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference
The civil society statement sets out a demand for peace in Afghanistan against a backdrop of the deaths of 100,000 civilians having been killed or injured in the last ten years and, more recently, a campaign of assassinations targeted at journalists, human rights workers, religious scholars and civil society activists.
Finland co-hosts international conference to support Afghanistan
The 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-organised by Finland, the United Nations and the Afghan Government, will be held on Monday and Tuesday, 23–24 November. The conference will take place in the middle of a historic peace process. Continuing support from the international community is needed to have a sustainable foundation for the peace process and to achieve peace. Finland’s representatives at the conference will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the ministerial conference will be held virtually with Geneva as the hub of logistics.
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Finnish missions’ entry permit services – current situation
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence the entry permit services of the Finnish diplomatic missions abroad. All missions are not able to provide these services in the same way and to the same extent as in normal circumstances before the pandemic. The missions have been able to serve customers in questions related to entry matters in the countries where this has been possible taking into account health security and local official regulations. In this fall, the missions have been reopening their services as far as possible, and currently entry services are provided in most countries at least to a limited extent.
At a vantage point in the European Commission: Team Europe to strengthen the EU’s leadership in development cooperation
The European Union — with its Member States — is the world’s largest funder of public development cooperation. However, this work is not always familiar to Finns. In this article series, we will introduce the EU development policy objectives and the Finns implementing them.
Artificial intelligence and human rights contribute to sustainable development
Concerns about the security of the internet and risks associated with emerging digital applications have increased in recent years. Misuse of artificial intelligence, for example through facial recognition technology or automated content moderation, may undermine the development of democracy and the rule of law and deteriorate the position of minorities, for example. The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), an intergovernmental human rights organisation, explains the connection between artificial intelligence (AI) and human rights in its recently published statement.
Effectiveness of crisis management requires closer cooperation between different actors
At its fourth session on 12 November, the Parliamentary Committee on Crisis Management examined the effectiveness of Finland's crisis management operations and the interfaces between internal and external security from the perspective of crisis management.
Young people’s comments on Finland’s Africa strategy
Young people in Africa have enormous potential, as was stated in the workshop on Finland’s Africa Strategy organised by the Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi on 23 October. The event featured speeches by State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, UN Youth Delegate Yuri Birjuli and Ronny Eriksson, founding member of the Ambitious Africa network.
Finnfund’s investments empower women in developing countries
Microloans that increase women’s income and strengthen their financial independence. Better food security through financing targeted at smallholder farmers. Companies where half of the management are women. Finnfund, a government-owned development financier, has invested recently in companies of this kind in developing countries. The aim is to promote gender equality by investing in profitable projects.
Finland holds lead role in UN’s Generation Equality campaign – We welcome you to join discussion on technology and innovations to support equality
On 24 November 2020, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a public webinar on equality, technology and innovation. The themes will be promoted under Finnish leadership in the global Generation Equality campaign.
Changes to travel guidance and entry restrictions due to COVID-19 situation
According to the Government decision made in September, restrictions on entry may be lifted for traffic between Finland and those EU and Schengen countries and the counties on the green list specified by the Council of the EU where the incidence of COVID-19 has not exceeded 25 new cases per 100,000 persons in the previous 14 days. The Government assesses the situation in different countries once a week. This news article will be updated with changes to the guidance and restrictions.