Strong support for Afghanistan at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference
International community renews its long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan with significant pledges at the conference. Afghanistan and international partners commit to shared development objectives for 2021–2024, and adopt a communique calling for an end to the war and a durable peace, stability and prosperity.
IAEA Director General to Finland
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi will visit Finland on 24–26 November at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. While in Helsinki, Director General Grossi will also discuss with Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.
Ministers Haavisto and Skinnari to co-host 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva
Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will travel Geneva to lead the 2020 Afghanistan Conference to be held on 23–24 November. Finland has co-organised the conference together with the Afghan Government and the United Nations. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the international ministerial conference will be held virtually from Geneva.
EU development ministers to discuss gender equality and debt sustainability in partner countries
EU development ministers will gather to discuss debt sustainability and debt relief in partner countries on 23 November 2020. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Finland supports CSOs’ humanitarian response to COVID-19
Finland allocates EUR 3.1 million to Finnish civil society organisations’ projects that are implemented in response to the humanitarian needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exacerbated ongoing humanitarian crises and forced new regions and population groups to seek emergency relief.
EU foreign affairs ministers discuss the global multilateral system
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend EU foreign ministers’ informal video conference on Thursday 19 November 2020. The items on the agenda will include multilateral cooperation and an exchange of views with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki.
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari to visit Oslo
Minister Skinnari will visit Oslo on 17–19 November 2020. Finland and Norway have strong and versatile bilateral relations. Both countries have a common will to further deepen their mutual cooperation. During his visit to Oslo, Minister Skinnari will particularly focus on the commercial and economic relations between the countries and topical regional and international issues.
EU trade ministers discuss the WTO and EU-US and EU-China trade relations
On 9 November, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend an informal video conference of EU trade ministers. The items of the agenda will be the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the EU’s trade relations with the United States and China.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on democracy, the rule of law and human rights
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 130th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 4 November 2020 will be held in virtual format. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the meeting agenda will be the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy 2020 – security and global responsibility sharing go hand in hand
Today, the Government adopted the Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy and submitted it to Parliament. The Report assesses Finland's foreign and security policy operating environment and defines the goals and priorities of Finnish foreign and security policy. By implementing these goals the Government strengthens Finland's security and prosperity.
Ministers Lintilä and Skinnari to make a virtual export promotion visit to Germany
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will make a virtual Team Finland visit to Germany on 29 October 2020. The aim is to strengthen relations between Finnish and German companies, particularly within the battery industry, the bioeconomy and circular economy, and the digitalisation of health services.
Prime Minister Marin presents Finland’s programme for next year’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers
At their videoconference on 27 October, the Nordic Prime Ministers and the Presidium of the Nordic Council discussed the state of Nordic cooperation when it comes to public safety. At the meeting, Prime Minister Sanna Marin presented Finland’s programme for next year’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Marin stated that the Nordic countries are leading the way in the fight against climate change.
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Skinnari attends OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on sustainable path to recovery
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will hold its Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) on 28–29 October in virtual format. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and State Secretary to the Minister of Economic Affairs Kimmo Tiilikainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto in Afghanistan— pledging conference arrangements on the final stages
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto paid a two-day visit to Afghanistan on 26–27 October 2020. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss current issues and the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-hosted by Finland, the Afghan Government and the United Nations, which will be held in November. “The pledging conference will take place in the middle of a historic peace process. Support from the international community is needed to have a sustainable foundation for the peace process. As one of the co-hosts of the Conference, Finland plays a central role in ensuring that this support will be available,” Haavisto says.
Nordic countries to provide additional EUR 350 million for climate work in developing countries
Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have decided to strengthen the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with additional capital of EUR 350 million. Finland’s share of this capital increase will be EUR 58.1 million.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Afghanistan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto is visiting Afghanistan. During the visit, Foreign Minister Haavisto meets representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and the country’s leadership and partner organisations engaged in development cooperation with Finland as well as representatives of civil society organisations and the international community.
Government’s supplementary budget proposal includes support for global development in helping tackle COVID-19 pandemic
The Government’s proposal for this year’s seventh supplementary budget contains a package of more than EUR 100 million for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the agencies and bodies within its administrative branch. The additional appropriations will enable Finland to support a global solution for the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and to promote Finnish exports.
Foreign ministers discuss Russia, Latin America and EU’s role in international organisations
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will convene on Monday 12 October in Luxembourg. The main items of discussion on the agenda will be Russia, the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Latin America and the Caribbean. Over a working lunch, ministers will have a discussion on how the EU and its Member States could jointly intensify their support for the rules-based international system (RBIS).
Development Policy Committee: Preparation of corporate social responsibility legislation should be faster and more ambitious
The Development Policy Committee calls for a faster preparation of the corporate social responsibility legislation, which would obligate Finnish companies to exercise due diligence also outside Finland and help to reduce harmful environmental and human rights impacts.
Afghanistan and International partners prepare for 2020 Afghanistan Conference
KABUL, 6 October 2020 – Afghanistan and international partners in Kabul today officially launched preparations for the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, scheduled to take place 23-24 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and be co-hosted by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA), Finland and the United Nations.
Successful crowdsourced testing of information security at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs – bug bounty program to permanent use
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs organised a crowdsourced information security testing for its public online services between December 2019 and May 2020. With the bug bounty program, organisations can invite information security researchers and hackers to examine, within a set of defined boundaries, the information security of selected services on the Internet. The information protection of the targeted systems were not opened for the project.
EU foreign ministers discuss Belarus and EU–African Union relations
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 21 September. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the agenda will be Belarus, the relationship between the EU and the African Union, and Libya.
Finland and 16 other participating States of OSCE commission an independent expert report on human rights violations in Belarus
On 17 September 2020, 17 participating States of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided to commission a report on serious human rights violations related to the presidential election in Belarus. Finland is one of the countries that took part in the decision.
Budget proposal for next year will further enhance Finland’s global engagement and bolster post-pandemic management
The budget proposal focuses on improvements to the ability of Finland’s missions abroad to operate effec-tively; participation in international crisis management, conflict prevention and mediation; measures to en-sure an appropriate level of development finance; and post-crisis measures following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and post-crisis management greatly highlight the need for international cooperation. Post-pandemic recovery funding, such as the EU’s recovery package, will also bring new opportunities for commercial and economic cooperation.
Finland’s state leadership to attend 75th session of UN General Assembly high-level week virtually
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most events of the high-level week and the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly will be held virtually this year. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will speak at the 75th UN General Assembly
Preparation of Government’s Human Rights Report under way: participate in online consultation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will hold an online consultation on the preparation of the Government new Human Rights Report on Thursday 10 September at 10.00–12.30. This online consultation will discuss matters raised on the draft document during the consultation process.
Foreign ministers meet in Berlin to discuss EU-Russia relations, Turkey and the situation in Belarus
On 27 and 28 August, EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal meeting (Gymnich), hosted by the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. Foreign ministers will discuss the EU-Russia relations, Turkey, and the situation in Belarus. They will also have a discussion on the geopolitical impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the EU's strategic response to them.
Virtual Team Finland Day attracts more than 1,000 participants
In addition to representing a challenge for Finland’s wellbeing, the coronavirus has also hit export companies, scrapping plans altogether or forcing companies to rethink their plans. How are companies adapting to the new situation? How does the pandemic affect export promotion?
Centre for Mediation to be set up at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
In the past ten years, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has consistently strengthened the position of mediation at international and national levels. In accordance with the Government Programme, mediation is one of the most important priorities in Finland’s foreign policy. To boost the implementation of the objective, Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto has decided to set up a Centre for Mediation under the administration of the Ministry’s Political Department.
Ambassadors to meet virtually this year
The Heads of Finnish Missions abroad will convene for their annual meeting on 24-26 August. Exceptionally, the meeting will be held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting will discuss how the world looks like during and after the coronavirus and how Finland is able to succeed in the future. The participants will approach the theme by assessing Finland’s foreign and security policy environment, for example.
World Humanitarian Day commemorates aid workers – Finland grants new aid to crisis areas
On World Humanitarian Day 19 August, the world pays attention to global humanitarian needs and honours the people who, in the midst of conflicts and natural disasters, support those in need. This year, the theme of the day is ‘real life heroes’. The majority of aid workers are local people who, in difficult and often dangerous circumstances, carry out humanitarian work to alleviate the distress of others.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss the situation in eastern Mediterranean and Belarus
EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal video conference on 14 August. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics of discussion will be the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Belarus. The situation in Lebanon and Venezuela will also be addressed.
Next year´s budget to strengthen Finland´s international effectiveness and support the post-crisis measures of the coronavirus pandemic
The budget proposal of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs covering the administrative sector for which it is responsible totals EUR 1.3 billion. It is EUR 29 million more than in the 2020 budget. Of the appropriations under the main expenditure title, the Foreign Service accounts for 21%, crisis management 6%, international development cooperation 66% and other expenditure 7%.
Foreign Minister Haavisto discusses with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto held a telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, 12 August 2020. In addition to the coronavirus situation, the ministers discussed issues relating to the European Union and Russia, the conflict in Ukraine, international Arctic cooperation and international arms control. The ministers also discussed bilateral issues between Finland and Russia and regional issues.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Riga
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Riga on 11 August 2020. He will attend the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace between Latvia and Soviet Russia. Haavisto will also have discussions with Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.