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 20 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.
Live webcast: Press Conference of Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will meet Estonia’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna in Helsinki on 18 April. Follow the live webcast of the press conference on the Foreign Ministry's YouTube channel at 4:50 pm.
Summit for Democracy to discuss ways to update traditional democracies
The Summit for Democracy will convene decision-makers from almost a hundred countries to discuss ways to promote democracy. Also countries who are taking their first steps towards a stable democracy have been invited to attend the Summit, which will be held from 29 to 30 March.
Study: EU rules on corporate due diligence are welcome but more is needed to prevent unintended adverse impacts
On 27 March 2023, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs published two analysis reports on how the forthcoming EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive would affect developing countries and their trade and companies.
Finland convened first in-person meeting of Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality
The priority theme of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held in New York from 6 to 17 March 2023, was technology, innovation and education. The theme of technology and gender equality is important for Finland, and Finland is one of the leaders of the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality, which is part the Generation Equality Forum, a global campaign led by UN Women. The Action Coalition had their first in-person meeting in connection with the CSW session. In addition, Finland organised a high-level side event on why data is critical for gender equality.
World countries to convene for UN Water Conference first time in over 40 years
The previous UN Water Conference took place 46 years ago. Antti Rautavaara, Special Envoy for Water at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tells what the UN Water Conference to be held on 22–24 March 2023 is all about and how water issues are connected to security policy.
High expectations for Finland in gender equality promotion
”Other countries have high expectations for Finland in terms of promoting gender equality,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality. He led the Finnish delegation to the 67th UN session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York during its first high-level week.
Views of civil society to Finland for spring session of UN Human Rights Council
Consultation of civil society has become an established part of Finland’s preparations for the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. The views of civil society support the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in its work to promote human rights. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto discussed with a broad spectrum of the Finnish civil society members in February before the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Country Manager in technology business: “Distortions can be rectified to make artificial intelligence more equitable”
According to Heli Laitila, Country Manager of the international technology company IBM Systems, the gender-based distortions that have been identified in applications using artificial intelligence must be rectified. Laitila stresses that more women and girls should be attracted to the still male-dominated technology sector.
Finland’s clean energy solutions raise interest in Mongolia
This week, a Mongolian delegation composed of public officials from several ministries is visiting Finland to learn about heat pump technology and other energy solutions related to the supply of heat. Besides the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the delegation will meet representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Business Finland, Nordic Development Fund and Finnish Energy. The visit is part of an energy sector project funded by the Asian Development Bank that aims to find alternative forms of renewable energy production in Mongolia.
Central Asia – a bridge between Europe and Asia
The Embassy of Finland in Astana handles relations with not only Kazakhstan but also with Kyrgyzstan, which is Finland’s partner in development cooperation. The increasingly frequent exchanges of visits and the growing interest in the cooperation opportunities available in Central Asia keep me busy, says Soili Mäkeläinen-Buhanist, Finland’s Ambassador in Astana.
Special Envoy for Climate Change: Just green transition a condition for solving environmental problems
Finland’s new Special Envoy for Climate Change Kerstin Stendahl has been following international climate and environmental negotiations for nearly three decades. Stendahl has held leading positions in the Ministry of the Environment and in the United Nations, among other places.
Interest in Finnish expertise in Central Asia
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari led a broad delegation on a visit to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan from 21 to 24 February. The Team Finland visit was organised in collaboration with EastCham Finland, which is a Finnish chambers of commerce focusing on the Central Asian market. Emerging economies are interested in Finnish expertise in such sectors as education, energy and the environment.
New call for proposals opens for higher education institutions – the financing programme reinforces education cooperation between Finland and developing countries
The new Higher Education Partnership development cooperation programme emphasises equal partnerships between higher education institutions, increases mobility and promotes closer collaboration between administrative staff, teachers and students.
Appearance of passports and identity cards to change
Passports and identity cards issued by the Finnish authorities will have a new appearance as of 13 March 2023. Minor technical adjustments will also be made to residence permit cards and residence cards. The changes will have no effect on the validity of previously issued passports, identity cards or residence permit documents.
Live webcast: Press Conference of German Foreign Minister Baerbock and Foreign Minister Haavisto
Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits Finland from 13 to 14 February at the invitation of Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. Follow the live webcast of the press conference on the Foreign Ministry's YouTube channel 13 February at 5.15pm.
Vietnam became Finland’s biggest trading partner in Southeast Asia
Vietnam, with its nearly 100 million inhabitants, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Keijo Norvanto, Finland’s Ambassador to Vietnam, is fascinated by the forward-looking and dynamic attitude of the Vietnamese people.
Live webcast: Press Conference of Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström visits Helsinki from 6 to 7 February. He was invited by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto to attend the Hanalys foreign policy forum at Hanaholmen on 7 February. Follow the live webcast of the press conference on the Foreign Ministry's YouTube channel at 10.50.
Issuing of visas to wild-berry pickers suspended at Finland’s Embassy in Bangkok
In November 2022, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs instructed the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok to suspend the issuing of visas to Thai wild-berry pickers for the time being. The Ministry stated as grounds for the suspension a number of ambiguities concerning wild-berry picking, including unreliable information entered into visa applications, risk of trafficking in human beings, an ongoing police investigation in Finland and possible amendments to the status of wild-berry pickers.
Special Representative Suldaan Said Ahmed is working for peace in Horn of Africa
Member of Parliament Suldaan Said Ahmed visited the Horn of Africa region in January. It was his third visit as Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto’s Special Representative on Peace Mediation. “Involving young people in peace processes and taking into account the diaspora from the region are important themes for me,” Said Ahmed says.
Call for abstracts open for World Water Week seminar series ‘Innovation and geopolitics’
Researches and other experts are invited to submit abstracts of their speeches and presentations in the SIWI Seminar Series ‘Innovation and geopolitics’ during the World Water Week in Stockholm. The World Water Week will be held from 20 to 24 August, and the call for abstract submissions will be open until 17 February.
State Secretary Sumuvuori's visit to the Philippines covers topics from bilateral cooperation to regional matters
State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori visited the Philippines on 23–26 January. Sumuvuori attended the reopening of the Finnish Embassy in Manila and met Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Enrique Manalo. She also led the political consultations between Finland and the Philippines together with Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.