Foreign Ministry’s climate negotiators: UN Climate Change Conference COP28 is the most important milestone since the Paris Agreement
Finland’s delegation at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 has 14 negotiators, four from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Ministry’s negotiating team is headed by Anna Merrifield, Director of the Unit for Climate and Environmental Diplomacy.
Päivi Kaukoranta elected as President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court
Ambassador Päivi Kaukoranta from Finland was elected as President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a mandate from 2024 to 2026.
Participants selected to Development Academy 2024
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise an induction course into global development issues for journalists in January–February 2024. Altogether 38 journalists applied for and 10 were selected to the Development Academy now organised for the twelfth time.
Working group preparing Foreign Service reform completes its final report
An internal working group of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, appointed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen, has completed its final report on a reform of the Foreign Service. The group presented its report to the Minister on 1 December 2023.
Investment company in Latin America and the Caribbean creates partnerships with Finnish companies
James Scriven, Chief Executive Officer of IDB Invest, which is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, visited Finland on 28–29 November. Scriven met with Finnish businesses, which had an opportunity to showcase their expertise. IDB Invest aims to leverage private funding to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Climate action by companies gaining ground in development cooperation
Solutions developed by Finnish companies are used to mitigate climate change around the world and to help locals adapt to its effects. Companies’ contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is becoming a stronger element of Finland’s development cooperation. However, local development needs are still the starting point for all work.
Development cooperation in the education sector strengthened – Clarity needed on vision
According to a recent evaluation, long-term commitment and funding for development cooperation in the education sector should be guaranteed to maintain Finland's current reputation and the effectiveness of development cooperation.
International recruitments are part of Finland’s foreign and security policy
International recruitments to and candidacies for multilateral organisations, coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, are an integral part of Finland's foreign and security policy. Multilateral cooperation makes Finland a more influential player globally than its size might suggest. In autumn 2023, several Finnish experts were successfully recruited to leadership positions important for Finland.
Nordic cooperation increases stability and makes daily life easier
Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, together with Åland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland are engaged in official Nordic cooperation within the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council. The exceptional times we have been living in recent years have emphasised the importance of Nordic cooperation.
Development policy for journalists — Call for applications open for 2024 Development Academy
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise an induction course into development policy and development cooperation for journalists in January–February 2024, with a special focus on the links between trade and development. A field visit to Zambia is included in the course. The call for applications is open from 10 to 24 November 2023.
Finland Pavilion presents solutions to mitigate climate change at Dubai Climate Conference
For the first time, Finland will have a pavilion of its own at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28. Finland Pavilion will showcase current perspectives on climate change mitigation and adaptation on the global scale and present clean energy innovations and solutions developed in Finland.
Video: Press Conference of Elina Valtonen, Antti Häkkänen, Tobias Billström and Pål Jonson
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and Minister for Defence Pål Jonson visited Helsinki on 8 November to meet Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen and Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen.
Mediation needs religious and traditional peacemakers
A growing number of the world’s conflicts are sparked by differences in religion and worldview. We need religious and traditional peacemakers to understand the underlying causes of crises, to prevent crises and to support mediation efforts. In ten years, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers has grown into a significant actor in faith-based mediation. Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has supported the Network from the start.
The human rights-based approach in Finland's development cooperation is evident both in words and actions
According to a recent evaluation, Finland's development cooperation has promoted the rights of vulnerable populations in partner countries. The commitment to the human rights-based approach has been strong. However, there are still challenges in monitoring and reporting the implementation of this approach and its links to risk management.
Ambassador Marja Lehto awarded for her pivotal role advancing environmental law
The 2023 Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy has been jointly awarded to Ambassador Marja Lehto of Finland and former Ambassador Marie Jacobsson of Sweden for their pivotal roles advancing environmental law and policy to protect the environment in times of armed conflicts. An award ceremony and panel discussion with both Laureates was held in New York on Monday, October 23, 2023.
Call for discretionary government grant applications for organisation of continuing training on international environmental law and diplomacy
Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs will open a call for discretionary government grant applications for the organisation of continuing training on international environmental law and diplomacy. The call for applications will be open for universities and other organisers of continuing training from 17 October to 3 November 2023 at 16:00.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs helps nearly 200 people leave Israel safely
Early Saturday morning, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs repatriated 149 people on its evacuation flight from Israel to Finland. The flight was carried out in cooperation with various authorities under the leadership of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ consular rapid response team. Yesterday, Finland also assisted 31 people in evacuating on a Swedish flight to Stockholm Arlanda Airport in cooperation with the Swedish authorities.
High seas and deep seabed now protected under new UN agreement
Last June, an Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction was adopted at the United Nations. The agreement is also known as the BBNJ Agreement (biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction) or, more poetically, as the High Seas Treaty. It is an important milestone in the protection of the oceans. The BBNJ Agreement was opened for signature in September during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly. Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen signed it for Finland.
Misconduct suspected in Foreign Ministry-funded project by Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland
The Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland has been implementing the Zambia Dry Sanitation Country Programme with a discretionary government grant awarded by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs for development cooperation by civil society organisations.
Foreign Ministry to survey market for application submission services for visas and residence permits
Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs is planning to launch a tendering process for outsourcing its entry permit application submission services in 2024. As a preparation for the upcoming tendering process, the Ministry will survey the market in autumn 2023.
Trade policy does not pay sufficient attention to persons with disabilities, report by Ministry for Foreign Affairs finds
International trade impacts the goods and services that are produced and consumed in countries. It also affects employment opportunities and working conditions. Not everyone is able to benefit, however. Disadvantaged groups, such as persons with disabilities have limited access to the opportunities generated by trade and they disproportionately shoulder adjustment.
Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council continues without Russia
Russia announced its decision to withdraw from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council on 18 September. The Barents cooperation will now continue between Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and the European Union, as it has continued since the Barents partners condemned Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine in March 2022.
Finland’s support to Libya and Morocco
The floods in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco have killed thousands of people. How is Finland supporting the relief efforts? How will Finland’s assistance reach its destination and why is Finland’s support important? Niklas Saxen, Senior Adviser for Humanitarian Assistance at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Teemu Sepponen, Finland’s Ambassador in Tunis, and Marjaana Sall, Finland’s Ambassador to Morocco, answer these questions.
Live webcast: Press conference of Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Mariya Gabriel
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will host Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel in Finland. Live webcast from the press conference can be followed online from 12.15 Finnish time.
Trademark Africa to present business opportunities for Finnish companies
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finland Chamber of Commerce will organise an event on Monday 11 September 2023 where Trademark Africa will present its activities and the business opportunities available for Finnish companies.
Deputy Director Generals to Consular Services and Protocol Services and two non-resident Ambassadors
At its session on 31 August, the Government appointed a new Deputy Director General of the Consular Services and a new Deputy Director General of the Protocol Services. At the presidential session on 1 September, the President of the Republic appointed non-resident Ambassadors to Moldova and Nicaragua.
Six million euro funding boost for development research from Research Council of Finland and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
The Research Council of Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland have granted funding for nine research projects within a call for applications that was launched under the Academy Programme for Development Research, DEVELOP2. The programme provides funding for multidisciplinary and problem-driven research that describes and interprets dimensions of development, helps understand obstacles to development and finds ways in which those obstacles can be removed.
Finland and the United States negotiate a defence cooperation agreement
A year ago, Finland and the United States opened negotiations on a new defence cooperation agreement. So far, three rounds of negotiations have been completed. Concluding the negotiations is an objective included in Finland’s new Government Programme. The Finnish Parliament needs to accept the agreement before it can be adopted. The agreement will reinforce Finland's security and promote the fulfilment of NATO membership obligations.
Grass-roots peace action needed in Iraq and Somalia
The peace projects launched by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Iraq and Somalia have brought together people, and especially young people, who share an interest in the challenges facing the country and society, and in peace building. Millions of viewers have been reached through social media and television over the four years of projects.
Director General and Deputy Director General of Legal Service and Deputy Director General of Department for International Trade appointed
At its session on 24 August, the Government appointed Director General of the Legal Service to continue in her duties and new Deputy Directors General for the Department for International Trade and for the Legal Service.
World Water Week in Stockholm discusses links between technologies, water and power
The series of seminars under the heading ‘Innovation and geopolitics of water’ organised during the World Water Week in Stockholm on 20–24 August will explore the impact of digital technologies on shared water resources and political negotiations related to water in the global context.
Johanna Kaprio-Papageorgiou appointed as Press Counsellor at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the EU
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has appointed Johanna Kaprio-Papageorgiou as Press Counsellor at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels from 16 August 2023 to 31 July 2026.
Ambassador to Ireland, non-resident Ambassadors and Under-Secretary of State for International Trade
At the presidential session on Friday 11 August, the President of the Republic appointed a new Ambassador to Ireland and new non-resident Ambassadors to Djibouti, South Sudan, Malta and San Marino. In addition, the Government appointed a new Under-Secretary of State for International Trade.
Practical guidance for companies to detect and prevent circumvention of sanctions
Companies play a key role in the enforcement of sanctions and in preventing circumvention of sanctions. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published practical expert guidance to companies on how to detect and prevent circumvention of sanctions on the MFA Russia sanctions webpage. The guidance provides practical advice on carrying out risk assessments and sanctions compliance. The guidance includes a list of red flags that the company can use when assessing concrete cases of foreign trade. The guidance includes links to the lists published by the Commission of products of particular relevance for the enforcement of sanctions.