News - Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is an international body active in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, has published its Mutual Evaluation Report of Finland. The FATF states that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is overall at a relatively good level in Finland, but there are also shortcomings.
As the Presidency of the Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe, Finland organised a side event on sign language in Strasbourg, France, on 10 April. The side event was organised in connection with the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to publish a study on the rights of deaf people in the Council of Europe and its Member States.
The Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union will enter into force on 10 April 2019. The Regulation will establish a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments in Member States on the grounds of security or public order and create a cooperation mechanism between the Member States and the Commission.
Finland will be investing a total of more than 20 million dollars in solar and hydroelectric power in the poorest countries in the world. The power plants to be built in Senegal and Nepal will open the way for commercially viable and emission-free energy production and the eradication of energy poverty.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has introduced guidelines for environmentally sustainable meetings. The guidelines have been used for two years in Arctic Council meetings held in Finland, and now they have been made available in printed form for the Ministry’s personnel. The guidelines help preserve nature and save costs.
Following the decision of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 1.4 million to civil society organisations' (CSOs) development communications and global education projects in Finland. In this call for proposals, project support will be granted to 14 CSOs.
The recently published “Polku 2030” report identifies development aid funds as an important means of promoting sustainable development. Attaining the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda should lie at the heart of Finland's next government programme, the report recommends.
The last plenary meeting of the Finnish Chairmanship reviewed the reports and recommendations of the Arctic Council’s Working Groups, discussed cooperation between Working Groups and Observers, and prepared the Declaration of the Ministerial meeting. Representatives of all of the eight Arctic States and six Permanent Participant organisations representing indigenous peoples, as well as observers from Europe, Asia and international organisations, attended the meeting.
Finland supports the follow-on financing of the World Bank’s Decentralizing Funding to Schools Project in Myanmar. The project improves the quality of basic education in different parts of Myanmar, especially aiming to support the schooling of the most vulnerable children.
Which type of due diligence is expected of companies with regard to human rights, the environment or anti-corruption activities? This was the topic of a seminar and workshop co-organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland.
A long-term loan from Finland is being used to revitalise agriculture and other rural livelihoods affected by climate change in developing countries. The funding aims to increase food security and create employment for young people.
The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Finland's membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Finland joined the OECD on 28 January 1969. In the course of the four decades, Finland has transformed from an agricultural country into a frontrunner in digitalisation. Through its membership, Finland has been able to measure itself against other member countries and to make use of the recommendations issued by the organisation. Furthermore, membership in the OECD has established Finland's position among other market economies.
The 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women CSW will take place in New York from 11 to 22 March. Permanent Secretary Päivi Sillanaukee from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will head Finland's delegation.
The meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Arctic Council, to be held in Ruka in the Finnish Lapland on 12–14 March, brings together representatives from the eight Arctic countries, six indigenous peoples’ organisations, six Working Groups, and more than 30 countries and organisations with observer status.
A total of 27 substantiated or suspected cases of misuse of development cooperation funds were reported to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2018. Decision involving claims for recovery were made for nearly EUR 30,000.
The conference on the impacts of artificial intelligence on human rights, the rule of law and democracy, organised as part of Finland's Presidency of the Council of Europe, attracted a larger audience than was expected. Instead of the expected 300 participants, the conference brought together about 400 people.
Melting of the Arctic sea ice has raised global awareness of the situation in the Arctic region. Accelerating climate change poses a threat to global stability. Efforts to fight global warming should be turned into economic opportunities; from threat to triumph. This is an area where Finland and the EU could lead the way. The Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council (SDWG) has brought low-carbon, resource-efficient circular economy into discussion within the framework of Arctic cooperation.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs announces a call for proposals aimed at international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). The call for proposals is open from 18 February to 21 March 2019. In this way, Finland will use development cooperation funds to support INGO development cooperation projects and the realisation of human rights.
The EU Regulation on simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the European Union will become applicable on 16 February 2019. The Regulation aims to reduce formalities and costs related to the acceptance of documents such as marriage and birth certificates.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be at the education and training sector Educa 2019, organised at the Expo and Convention Centre, Messukeskus Helsinki, on 25–26 January. At the Ministry's stand 6n50, visitors are offered information, publications and discussion events on the EU and development policy.
Students at the Helsinki School of Natural Sciences, Upper Secondary School, more familiarly known as Hellu, have been able to take part in a unique course on the Arctic region that is being carried out in cooperation with many subjects. The topics discussed on the course this academic year have included, among others, the Arctic Council, the indigenous peoples of the Arctic region, protection of the Arctic forests and climate change. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been involved in composing the course from the beginning.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published the results of the job satisfaction survey of 2018. Job satisfaction remained at the same level as in the previous year. In the Ministry, the figures correspond to the average survey results in central government. On the scale of school grades, job satisfaction is eight on average.
A group of education sector directors from Ethiopia visited the Vesala comprehensive school in Helsinki. The visitors were interested in the daily work of Finnish teachers and particularly in the school lunch, which they were also served. The visit is an integral element of Finland’s development cooperation aimed at developing the education sector in Ethiopia.
Finland will support the work of the United Nations equality organisation, UN Women, in Nepal by EUR 4 million in 2018–2021. The funding will be used to enhance women’s economic empowerment and political participation and to support poverty eradication in Nepal.
Following the decision of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 18 million to development cooperation projects led by civil society organisations and municipalities. In this year’s call for proposals, project support will be granted to 36 organisations.
The number of refugees in the world is on the rise. How are families and children going about their daily lives in a refugee camp? The 360-degree video jointly produced by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Red Cross is set in the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya.
The five-year renovation project on the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi, designed by architects Raili and Reima Pietilä, is now complete. The reopening of the embassy was celebrated end of November, when Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen officially inaugurated the renovated complex.
The EU and China exchanged market access offers in the summit held in July. So far the parties have acquainted themselves with the offers and are now moving on to improving them. The negotiations have been going on since 2013.