Finland repatriated two children and one mother from Syria
On Friday 16 July 2021, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs repatriated two Finnish children and their mother from Roj camp in northeast Syria. All three persons are Finnish citizens. The children are under school age. They are now in the care of competent Finnish authorities.
The European Court of Human Rights annulled its judgment concerning Finland in the case of the return of an asylum-seeker to Iraq
On 13 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision, which annuls the Court’s previous judgment concerning Finland in the case of N.A. v. Finland relating to the return of an asylum-seeker to Iraq in its entirety.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend meeting of EU foreign ministers
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday 12 July. The main topics of discussion will be Ethiopia, the Strategic Compass, and the geopolitics of new digital technologies. In addition, the meeting will approve conclusions on a Globally Connected Europe. The foreign ministers will meet Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs at a working lunch and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs at a working breakfast. Minister Haavisto will also attend a meeting of the Nordic and Baltic counties in NB6 format and a meeting of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany in the N3+1 format.
Finland in lead role in negotiating the Ministerial Declaration of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 6–15 July
This year, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will focus on sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Finnish delegation will be headed by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Changes proposed to the prices of identity cards and passports issued by missions abroad
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has sent out for comments a proposal on amendments to the Decree of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service. The consultation round will be open until 6 August 2021. According to the proposal, the prices of identity cards and passports issued by missions abroad would be raised by 6 euros and 55 euros respectively.
Report: Finnish companies must stay alert due to the rivalry between China and the United States
The growing battle for economic and technological leadership between the US and China has adverse effects also on Finnish companies. In a recent report, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK recommend that both Finland and the EU prepare more carefully for possible harmful effects.
Finland to open an embassy in Doha
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is making preparations to expand and strengthen the network of Finnish missions abroad. A new embassy will be opened in Doha, Qatar. The embassy would commence operations at some point later this year. The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed that the country will establish an embassy in Finland, too.
EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Belarus, Iraq and Latin America
EU Foreign Ministers will convene in Luxembourg on Monday 21 June. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the agenda are Belarus, Iraq and Latin America. The Foreign Ministers will also exchange views with Minister Fuad Hussein, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, and the Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. The current affairs to be discussed include Russia, Yemen, the Middle East Peace Process and relations between the EU and Turkey.
Development Policy Committee: Finland should distinguish itself in food security diplomacy
Suomen tulee vaikuttaa ja ottaa nykyistä enemmän vastuuta globaalin ruokaturvan ja ruokajärjestelmän vahvistamisessa. Erityistä huomiota on kiinnitettävä kaikkein köyhimpien maiden ja haavoittuvimmissa tilanteissa elävien ihmisten ja ryhmien aseman parantamiseen. Tätä mieltä on Kehityspoliittisen toimikunnan KPT:n asiantuntijaryhmä, jonka analyysi ruokaturvan ja ruokajärjestelmien tulevaisuudesta julkaistiin perjantaina.
Ministers for Nordic cooperation meet in Porvoo
Ministers for Nordic cooperation will meet under the leadership of Minister Thomas Blomqvist in Porvoo on 21–22 June 2021. The Ministers will discuss cooperation in times of crisis and the implementation of the common Nordic vision. According to Our Vision 2030, the Nordic region will be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs: Decision of the European Court of Human Rights in a matter concerning extraordinary appeal
On 17 June 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision declaring inadmissible an application against Finland, after considering that the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) were not applicable to the application and that the applicant had not exhausted all domestic remedies.
Finland as President of session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Finland will chair the session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 15–17 June 2021. Representatives from more than 180 countries are expected to attend the Conference, which will be held both virtually and at the UN headquarters in New York. A large number of representatives of civil society organisations and UN agencies, dedicated to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, will also attend the Conference. Finland’s delegation will be led by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Finland ranks first in international sustainable development comparison
For the first time, Finland has been ranked number one in an international comparison of sustainable development. The esteemed ranking by the UN and the Bertelsmann Foundation is published annually, and Finland has also been in the top three in earlier years, together with Denmark and Sweden. The comparison assesses countries’ progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
EU development ministers to discuss cooperation with middle income countries and human development
On 14 June, EU development ministers will discuss the EU’s cooperation with middle income countries and exchange views on human development. On Finland’s proposal, the ministers will receive an overview of promoting school meals in the partner countries for development cooperation. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Finland donates EUR one million to support developing countries’ trade
Finland will support the World Trade Organisation’s trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) activities by slightly more than EUR one million in 2021–2022. The support is aimed to strengthen least-developed countries’ trading capacity. The agreement on the support was signed on 10 June 2021 in Geneva.
Foreign Minister Haavisto hosts Nordic–Baltic foreign ministers’ meeting (NB8)
Finland is coordinating cooperation between the Nordic countries and Baltic states in the Nordic–Baltic Eight (NB8) format in 2021. The second foreign ministerial meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday 2 June. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the meeting will be held virtually.
Minister Skinnari to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit St Petersburg on 2–5 June. Minister Skinnari will attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The International Economic Forum will bring together influential leaders from the world of business and economics from various parts of the globe, offering an excellent platform for exchange of views with representatives of business and political life.
Finland supports humanitarian work done by UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA
Finland has allocated one million euros to support the flash appeal for Gaza, launched by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA. The funding will be used to provide, for example, food, shelters and health services to Palestinians in Gaza.
Ministers Skinnari and Lintilä to attend OECD Council on post-pandemic sustainable recovery and organisation’s future priorities
The ministerial council meeting of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be held virtually on 31 May–1 June 2021. The meeting will focus on the economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and the future priorities of the OECD.
Report on Development Policy promotes Finland’s long-term and coherent approach to development cooperation
The Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms strengthens the long-term approach in Finnish development cooperation from the perspective of principles, values and goals, and makes development policy more focused. In order to achieve results, development policy must be conducted in a coherent manner.
Finland sends material assistance to help Nepal fight COVID-19 epidemic
Finland will send material assistance to Nepal through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The material assistance will include face masks, protective visors, protective gloves and medical gowns.
Tackling inequality in the tech sector – Algorithm for Gender Equality campaign seeks solutions to the often invisible but important problem
The Foreign Ministry’s campaign is part of the global Generation Equality initiative. Finland is one of the co-leaders of the Action Coalition that is responsible for Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality. As a country that is known for gender equality and technological expertise, Finland can set an example in promoting equality in the tech sector.
EU ministers of foreign affairs to discuss transatlantic relations and Western Balkans and meet with US Envoy for Climate
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on Monday 10 May. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori. The main topics on the meeting agenda will be the relations between the USA and the EU and the situation in the Western Balkans. Foreign ministers will also have a video conference with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
Finland to support COVID-19 response in India, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Niger
Finland will contribute EUR 3 million to the COVID-19 Emergency Appeal of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help India, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Niger. Finland will help India with EUR 1 million and the other three countries with nearly EUR 500,000 each. The Finnish Red Cross will also provide material assistance.
Minister Skinnari visits Denmark to promote cooperation in green transition
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Copenhagen on 26–27 April. The aim of the visit is to promote bilateral commercial and economic cooperation and to discuss other topical trade policy matters. A business delegation representing the wind power sector will participate in the visit virtually.
New Protocol No. 15 to the European Convention on Human Rights changes the criteria for submitting applications to the European Court of Human Rights
Adopted in June 2013, Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) will enter into force on 1 August 2021. It will introduce substantial changes to the right to submit applications to the European Court of Human Rights.
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs to discuss Ethiopia and Ukraine on 19 April
The main topics to be discussed at the April meeting of the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs are the situation in Ethiopia and Ukraine. Finland’s representative at the informal video conference will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The Ministers will also hold an informal exchange with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba.
Ministers Lintilä and Skinnari to promote Finnish exports to Sweden in the food, textiles and health sectors
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will make a virtual Team Finland visit to Sweden on 15 April 2021. The visit is intended to intensify trade relations between Finnish and Swedish companies, particularly in the food and beverage industries, the textile industry and the sustainable healthcare sectors.
In 2020, Finland’s ODA to GNI ratio rose to 0.47 per cent
Finland's development cooperation expenditure in 2020 amounted to EUR 1 119 million. This represented 0.47 per cent of Finland's gross national income (GNI). Last year, the total amount of the exclusive ODA budget item administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was EUR 708.4 million.