Advance voting in the parliamentary elections - 41,127 persons voted abroad
In this year’s parliamentary elections, a total of 41,127 eligible voters used their right to vote abroad. Of these, 40,914 persons voted in Finnish missions abroad during the advance voting period, while 213 Finnish crew members cast their advance votes on board ships.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs to create communication that will promote peace and reconciliation in Iraq and Afghanistan
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is planning and creating communication that will promote peace and reconciliation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Communication will focus on young people and the faith that young people hold in their own ability to contribute to society.
Finland’s development cooperation disbursements decreased in 2018
In 2018, the amount of expenditure used for development cooperation fell in real terms by 14.6% in relation to the previous year. With a contribution of EUR 833 million to development cooperation, Finland was the ninth largest donor among the EU Member States.
Foreign Minister Soini to Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg and Council of Europe in Strasbourg
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Luxembourg on 8 April. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. Items on the agenda include Afghanistan, Eastern Partnership and Venezuela.
Market Opportunities in the United States - Road Show 2019
In 2019, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, together with other Team Finland organizations and the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, will organize Road Show in Finland. The aim is to strengthen bilateral commercial and economic relations between Finland and the United States by advancing trade, investments and innovation cooperation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini to host a Council of Europe meeting in Helsinki
Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will host a joint session of the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and the Committee of Ministers Bureau of the Council of Europe in Helsinki on 3 April 2019.
Joint Meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation and the Global Tech Panel
Today, UN Secretary-General António Guterres' High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation and the Global Tech Panel convened by EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini will hold a landmark joint meeting in Espoo, Finland at the invitation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in cooperation with Nokia.
Consultants recommend improved communications and changes in HR and management to address harassment
Consultancy company Ramboll has completed its study of the prevention, handling and follow-up of cases of harassment in the Foreign Service. The results were presented to the Ministry's personnel on Tuesday 26 March.
#HELSINKI2018 and education expertise raised Finland’s profile in world media in 2018
Finland was particularly widely featured in the world’s media due to the meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki. According to the results of the annual ‘Finland in the World Media’ survey, based on Finnish embassies’ and consulates’ reviews of their host countries’ media, other key topics of international interest included education expertise; equality; and the basic income experiment.
Foreign Minister Soini's school visits continue
The tour of Finnish schools which Foreign Minister Soini began in autumn 2017 will continue this spring in Kitee, Oulu ja Muhos. Minister Soini will visit the general upper secondary school in Kitee on Friday 22 March, and the general upper secondary school in Muhos and a teaching practice school in Oulu on Monday 25 March.
Finland Toolbox, an open source of information about Finland
The Finland Promotion Board has revised its Finland Toolbox. The presentation toolkit offers information about Finland and themes that are important for the Finns, and it is available for anyone who wants to tell about these matters to international audiences.
Foreign Ministry's meetings will be eco-friendly
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs together with WWF Finland have compiled guidelines for eco-friendly meetings. In future, all meetings to be organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be eco-friendly. The missions abroad may apply the guidelines as applicable, considering the local circumstances.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini to host foreign ministerial meeting of Finnish, German, Swedish and Danish counterparts in Helsinki
Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, and State Secretary for Foreign Policy of Denmark Jonas Bering Liisberg will have a meeting in Helsinki on Tuesday 19 March.
Conference in Brussels to solve humanitarian crisis in Syria
Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen will represent Finland at the international conference on Syria in Brussels on 14 March. The objective of the ”Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference, organised by the EU and the United Nations, is to support the UN-led political process and to agree about further measures to help those affected by the crisis.
According to the Chancellor of Justice, Foreign Ministry can continue processing pending appointments
A number of ambassadorial appointments to be made during the regular annual round of appointments are under preparation in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. On Monday 11 March, the Ministry consulted Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Pöysti to clarify the situation. According to the Chancellor of Justice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs can continue processing of the pending appointments during the caretaker government's term of office.
Evaluation: Closer coordination of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance required in refugee situations
Finland's policy coherence in different subareas should be strengthened and there should be closer coordination of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The evaluation commends Finland's work to improve the situation of people with disabilities in refugee conditions.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini: Africa should be considered an opportunity and an equal partner
In his address to the personnel of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Development Policy on 7 March, Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini said that Europe should now adopt a new approach in its policy on Africa. Minister Soini's speech was held by Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen.
From icebreakers to basic income – international media showed great interest in Finland in 2018
Every year the Communications Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs organises tens of visits for foreign media and decision-makers. The visits are part of the long-term work on communications and Finland’s country image. They help to strengthen Finland’s political, economic and cultural impact, promote trade and economic relations, and brighten our country image. Visits are organised in close cooperation with other promotion organisations. Key partners include Finnfacts and the City of Helsinki.
International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification working group meeting in Finland
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland will host a working group meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV) in Finlandia Hall from 5 to 7 March 2019.
Study on the rights and experiences of intersex persons completed
As part of the implementation of the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs commissioned a qualitative study on the rights and experiences of intersex persons. The purpose of the study was to find out how the decisions made when an intersex child is born and the treatments the child receives in childhood and adolescence have affected their lives.
President of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa to attend Youth Peace Symposium in Finland
Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and President of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa will have a meeting in Helsinki on Wednesday 6 March to discuss topical international themes, focusing on young people's role in mediation and peace processes. Espinosa will visit Finland to attend the First International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes, held in Helsinki on 5–6 March.
Finnish-Kazakh Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation to meet in Astana
The Finnish-Kazakh Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation will meet in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, from 28 February to 1 March 2019. The Commission will be co-chaired by Finland's Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen and Kazakhstan's Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbajev.
Executive Director of UNOPS to visit Finland
Executive Director of UNOPS Grete Faremo will visit Finland from 26 to 27 February. The United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, which offers project management, infrastructure and procurement services, is interested in strengthening its cooperation with Finland.
Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Finland
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania Augustine Mahiga will visit Finland on Monday 25 February and have a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. The aim of the visit is to promote the relations between the two countries and to discuss topical bilateral and international questions.
Permanent Secretary Salmi and Ambassador Laine discussed opportunities for cooperation with Iraqi authorities
Permanent Secretary Ilkka Salmi and Finland's Roving Ambassador to Iraq Päivi Laine visited Iraq from 17 to 19 February. They had meetings with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Displacement and Migration, and Ministry of Justice of Iraq.
Ethical questions on AI under discussion in Helsinki
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the Council of Europe are organising a high-level expert conference on the impacts of artificial intelligence on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. The conference will be held in Helsinki on 26-27 February 2019.
Discretionary government transfers for civil society organisations in the area of foreign and security policy for 2019 granted
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted a discretion government transfer of EUR 911,000 to be distributed to nine civil society organisations (CSO) working in the area of foreign and security policy.
Foreign Minister Soini to Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 18 February. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. The topics on the meeting agenda include Ukraine, Syria and the Horn of Africa. At lunch, foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Venezuela. Minister Soini will also attend an EU-Ukraine breakfast meeting, hosted by Denmark and Ukraine. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin will be present, too.
European Court of Human Rights delivered judgment on a case concerning right to a fair hearing
On 14 February 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave its judgment in a case concerning Finland. The Court held that there had been no violation of Article 6 (right to a fair hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Discretionary government transfers granted for CSOs’ Europe information in 2019
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 470,000 in discretionary government transfers to civil society organisations’ (CSOs) Europe information. In addition, EUR 100,000 was granted to the provision of information relating to the European elections.
Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction to visit Finland
Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori, who is head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and Kirsi Madi, Director at UNISDR, will visit Finland on 11–12 February 2019.
Finland to strengthen its role in addressing the global learning crisis
A working group consisting of development and education specialists proposes that Finland should adopt education as one of its development cooperation and development policy priorities and significantly increase its funding for the cause. Ministers Anne-Mari Virolainen and Sanni Grahn-Laasonen support the proposal. They have decided to set up a broad-based steering group to promote the working group's recommendations and to foster closer cooperation between operators in the field in Finland.