Education and peaceful, democratic societies

Finland promotes quality education and responsible governance and supports the building of fair and peaceful societies.

Finland’s objectives in development policy priority area on education and peaceful, democratic societies

  • Improve access to quality primary and secondary education especially for girls and for those in the most vulnerable position.  Finland works to improve the inclusiveness of education systems and the teaching and learning processes by supporting education in learners’ mother tongues, participation of persons with disabilities in education, and education policies that promote gender equality and non-discrimination. Efforts are also made to improve teaching and learning practices and educational environments, and enhance institutional capacity to improve learning outcomes. Finland’s development cooperation supports access to vocational education and training for women and girls with disabilities.
  • Support public administration, administrative decentralisation and financial administration. Finland supports more equitable and efficient taxation that generates funding for public services. Finland works with its development cooperation partner countries to build their capacity for revenue generation.
  • Contribute to social stability through more inclusive peace processes and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Finland supports the safety and wellbeing of civilians living in countries recovering from conflict. We take steps to provide more opportunities for women, young people and persons with disabilities to participate in problem-solving in peace and security related matters. Finland works towards improving the ability of the judicial system and political decision-makers to strengthen democracy and to promote the rule of law. 
  • Foster a strong, diverse and independent civil society that functions efficiently and participates in decision-making. Finland aims to increase the participation of women and those in the most vulnerable position in the decision-making process. We take action to enhance the implementation of legislation and to promote freedom of speech, assembly and association. Finland supports independent media and the protection of whistleblowers and human rights defenders. Stronger and more frequent interaction between the public sector and civil society consolidates mutual trust and enables peaceful problem-solving.

In a democratic society, citizens can exercise their human rights and expect that these rights will be realised. Considering that education is an important basic public service, it is important to closely observe whether commitments concerning financing, quality and non-discrimination in education are fulfilled in real life. What is crucial is the extent to which international norms and rules are implemented and whether they lead to better practices. Therefore, Finland’s advocacy work aims to strengthen the commitment of its partner countries and the international community to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights as well as to global commitments regarding inclusive education and taxation.

In addition to Finland’s actions, factors contributing to an inclusive, peaceful and democratic society include the partner country’s own actions and attitudes, and those of other development actors. The outcomes of international negotiations also play a major role in achieving the targets identified in this priority area. Most importantly, solutions that spring from the partner countries’ own needs and resources are vital for any reforms.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Finland’s objectives in development policy priority area on education and peaceful, democratic societies support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 (equitable and inclusive quality education), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the goals). Development cooperation on the themes identified in the priority area creates favourable conditions for sustainable and inclusive development and is an essential requirement for the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals.

Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 requires that the participation of civil society promotes democratic governance, transparency and accountability. Similarly, tax revenue must be used to provide basic public services and to increase equality. Educated and socially aware citizens must have more opportunities and be more able and willing to exercise their power in the political decision-making process.

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