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.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs manages risks and addresses abuses in development cooperation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has revised its guidelines on addressing abuse and misuse. “Development cooperation is closely monitored and there are clear procedures for handling suspected abuses,” says Ramses Malaty, Director of the Unit for Administrative and Legal Development Cooperation Matters.
Lauri Tierala appointed as State Secretary
In its plenary session on 6 July, the Government appointed Master of Social Sciences Lauri Tierala as State Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen and Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen. His term of office will begin on 6 July and continue for the duration of the Ministers' term of office.
UNICEF research centre Director Bo Viktor Nylund from Finland is a veteran of conflict zones
Bo Viktor Nylund from Finland took charge of the Innocenti Office of Research of the UN children’s organisation UNICEF in Florence at the beginning of 2023. UNICEF Innocenti think tank produces research data and policy recommendations on children’s rights.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and civil society organisations discussed Finland's priorities in the UN Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold its second regular session of this year from 19 June to 14 July. Before each session, as part of Finland’s contribution to the work of the Human Rights Council, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs asks civil society organisations for their views on Finland's priorities and objectives. Many civil society representatives again gathered at Merikasarmi, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs brought together African and Finnish circular economy experts in Helsinki
The World Circular Economy Forum sought solutions to problems that are crucial to Earth’s carrying capacity: climate change, the consumption of materials, biodiversity loss and pollution. The Forum strengthened cooperation between Finnish and African actors.
Helsinki Antarctic meeting culminates in agreement on climate declaration
The nearly two-week long Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Helsinki ended successfully last week. It brought more than 400 Antarctic experts from 56 countries and key global climate and environmental organisations to Helsinki. The meeting had a constructive atmosphere, and global tensions were mostly overlooked. However, no agreement was reached on new consultative members.
Changes in autumn to two Ministry of Foreign Affairs grant application processes
As a part of the government grant development and digitalisation project, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is implementing new government grant online services. Two calls for applications will be held in autumn 2023: a grant for non-governmental organisations on providing Europe information, and a grant for organisations carrying out foreign and security policy activities. This change requires measures to be taken by the applicants. The calls for applications will take place upon funding being granted by the Parliament.
Suspected abuse of humanitarian food assistance to Ethiopia
Humanitarian food assistance to Ethiopia is suspected of having been diverted from people in need. In May, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported that misappropriation of aid is suspected in the Tigray region in Northern Ethiopia, but now the suspicions extend to the whole country. The WFP has launched an investigation into the suspected abuse of food assistance to Ethiopia and suspended some of its aid deliveries to Ethiopia. Finland will start its own review of the WFP’s mechanisms for risk management.
Live webcast: Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will sign the Joint Statement on Cooperation in Advanced Wireless Communications
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will sign on 2 June the Joint Statement of Finland and the United States on Cooperation in Advanced Wireless Communications.
World experts on Antarctica to meet in Helsinki
While Finland and Antarctica may be a world apart, Finland as an Arctic country is actively involved in the international cooperation on Antarctica. In this way, we can have a say in the affairs of the two polar regions as climate change threatens the environment in both. The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) will be held for the first time in Finland at the end of May.
Technical Support Instrument 2024 Call open for projects promoting public administration reforms
The European Commission provides technical support to reforms in EU Member States with a special focus on making public administration fit for the future and adaptable to change. The Technical Support Instrument (TSI) 2024 Call is now open. The national deadline for submitting requests for support is 25 October 2023.
International register to record damage caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine
The Council of Europe has long been monitoring Russia’s alarming situation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. For many years, the Council tried to exert influence over Russia by keeping the country as a Member and within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). However, Russia launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 was the last straw, and the Council decided to expel Russia only three weeks later. Now, the Council of Europe is once again showing its ability and political will to support Ukraine.
New appointments: Ambassadors to Alger, Belgrade, New Delhi, Ottawa, Rabat and Singapore and a Deputy Director General to Political Department
At the presidential session on Friday 12 May, the President of the Republic decided to appoint six new Ambassadors. The Government appointed Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Erik Lundberg to continue as Deputy Director General of the Political Department.
Foreign Service guidelines help support human rights defenders around the world
In late 2022, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs published new guidelines on supporting human rights defenders. They are intended as a practical tool, helping the Foreign Service to actively support human rights defenders. The guidelines were issued for the first time in 2014. They have now been updated to better reflect the current operating environment.
Europe Day discussions cover on EU and NATO as builders of security
Eurooppa-päivää vietetään 9. toukokuuta. Tänä vuonna Eurooppa-päivän päätapahtuma järjestetään Helsingin keskustakirjasto Oodissa ja verkossa. Ohjelmassa on laaja kattaus ajankohtaisia keskusteluja Suomen ja Euroopan tulevaisuudesta. Osana päivän ohjelmaa ulkoministeriön Eurooppatiedotus järjestää avoimen keskustelutilaisuuden ”Miten EU ja Nato rakentavat Euroopan turvallisuutta?”.
Reetta Purontakanen and Sanna Immanen appointed as Press Counsellors to Tokyo and Tallinn
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has appointed Reetta Purontakanen to serve as Press Counsellor at Finland’s Embassy in Tokyo from 1 August 2023 to 31 August 2025 and Sanna Immanen to serve as Press Counsellor at the Embassy in Tallinn from 1 August 2023 to 31 July 2026.
Vacancies open for diplomatic and administrative staff at Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has opened vacancies for diplomatic and administrative staff positions. Applications will be accepted from 21 April to 12 May. Check the vacancy announcements in the valtiolle.fi recruitment service.