Minister Haavisto to attend the high-level week of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Minister Skinnari will represent Finland at meetings virtually
The high-level meetings of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) will start in New York on Monday 20 September. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend ministerial events in New York and have bilateral meetings with his counterparts and with representatives of the UN. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland at several high-level meetings held in virtual format during the week.
Legislative proposal on long-term D visa facilitates labour migration
The government proposal on the introduction of a long-term national D visa in Finland promotes labour migration and includes the preparation of a fast track pledge. According to the proposal, the national D visa would first cover specialists, growth or start-up entrepreneurs and their family members.
Mikko Koivumaa appointed as Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The Government has appointed Mikko Koivumaa as Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs starting on 18 October 2021. The term of office will be five years. Koivumaa is currently Director of Communications at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Finland to expand reception of visa applications in Russia
Finland will strengthen the capacity to receive visa applications in Russia starting on 1 October 2021. As of that date, Finland's Visa Application Centres in Russia will accept applications from business customers and from all applicants whose multiple-entry Schengen visa, issued by Finland for at least two years, has expired.
Nordic, Baltic and Visegrád foreign ministers to meet in Finland
Finland is coordinating the cooperation between the Nordic countries and Baltic states in the Nordic–Baltic Eight (NB8) format in 2021. The NB8 foreign ministers’ meeting will be held on 15 September at Vanajanlinna, Hämeenlinna. The NB8 countries and the Visegrád Group (V4) will have a joint meeting at foreign ministerial level on the previous day, 14 September. The V4 countries are Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Nordic Ministers for Cooperation to meet in Åland
The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation will meet under the leadership of Minister Thomas Blomqvist in Mariehamn 13-14 September 2021. At the meeting, the ministers will prepare the Nordic Council of Ministers’ budget for 2022 and explore the state of the Nordic freedom of movement when they meet the Freedom of Movement Council. The fourth ministerial meeting during the Finnish Presidency will be held in close cooperation with the Åland Islands and will be part of the celebrations for its 100th anniversary as an autonomous region.
Finland donates COVID-19 vaccines to improve global vaccination coverage
Finland will participate in the EU cooperation that enables donation of COVID-19 vaccines purchased in advance. During this autumn, about 3.6 million vaccines will be donated to developing countries. The vaccine donations will not slow down the rollout of vaccinations in Finland.
Finland supports value chains in sustainable forestry, mining and circular economy in developing countries
Finland supports the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) by EUR 3.6 million between 2021 and 2023 to develop value chains in sustainable forestry, mining and circular economy and to create jobs in developing countries. The project also includes a section strengthening the position of women and promoting gender equality in the work of UNIDO. The agreement was signed in Vienna on 8 September.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kranj and to visit Tallinn
An informal meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich) will be held in Kranj, Slovenia, on 2–3 September 2021. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. After the meeting, on 3–4 September, Minister Haavisto will visit Tallinn.
Minister Skinnari to visit Tokyo
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Japan on 1–5 September 2021. Minister Skinnari will attend the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games as a representative of Finnish state leaders and have meetings with Japanese ministers and representatives of Japanese companies.
Persons responsible for security of Finnish embassy personnel safely away from Kabul
Finland’s relief efforts in Afghanistan were complemented late on the night of Friday 27 August, when the employees of the company responsible for the security of Finnish Embassy personnel were successfully led inside the gates of Kabul Airport. The total number of these employees and their family members is 83 persons. Assisted by US troops, the group managed to get on a flight away from Kabul early this morning.
Changes to provision of consular services at Finnish missions abroad
Today, on 27 August 2021, the President of the Republic approved the amendment to the Annex to the Decree of the President of the Republic on the Locations of Finland’s Diplomatic Missions and the Provision of Consular Services in the Foreign Service. The amendment will enter into force at the beginning of October.
Foreign Ministry relief team leaves Afghanistan; Finland successfully evacuates 330 persons from Kabul
Finland ended its relief efforts in Kabul as planned on Thursday 26 August. Both the Foreign Ministry’s relief team and the Defence Forces’ unit tasked with safeguarding the efforts have now left Afghanistan. We will continue to provide consular assistance through other means to the extent possible.
New specialists to bolster Finnish exports
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has recruited 20 new senior specialists in international business to work in 16 different countries. The intention is to increase Finnish exports in important export markets and, in particular, to help small- and medium-sized companies to work globally.
OSCE Secretary General visits Finland
Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Schmid will visit Helsinki on Friday 27 August at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. Schmid will also have discussions with President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.
Government adds 128 persons to list of Afghans to be admitted to Finland
At an extraordinary meeting on 24 August, the Finnish Government decided to complement its earlier decisions and announced that Finland could admit to the country a maximum of 45 additional Afghan former employees of the Finnish Embassy in Kabul together with their families. Finland can also admit a new group of persons representing security sector employees together with their families, totalling a maximum of 83 persons.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs at Turku Europe Forum - themes on agenda include foreign policy, EU export policy and future of free mobility
On 25–27 August, the Europe Forum 2021 in Turku will gather Finnish opinion-makers and citizens to discuss Finland's role in Europe. The event will offer a wide range of discussions on the future of the EU and the position of Finland and the EU in the changing world order. During the Forum, the Ministers and public officials of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will contribute as speakers to events organised by other parties. In addition, on Friday 27 August the Foreign Ministry’s Europe Information will organise a discussion event on the future of an open Europe.
UNICEF innovation activities to Finland – new hubs will promote learning and innovative financing solutions
The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF will establish two innovation hubs in Finland. The hubs are the latest addition to the UN competence cluster built in Finland in recent years by UNOPS and UN Global Pulse.
Finland to open an embassy in Dakar
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 Dakar, Senegal. The embassy would start operations at some point later this year. In September 2020, Finland reopened its embassy in Manila, the Philippines. In addition to Dakar, Finland is currently preparing to open a mission in the capital of Qatar, Doha.
Evacuation from Afghanistan – update on the situation
Intensive efforts are under way to evacuate Finns and Afghans who have been working for the Finnish Government from Afghanistan. Around ten people were evacuated from Kabul on Saturday, and a group of 52 have boarded evacuation flights so far on Sunday. This brings the total number of evacuees to 110 at present. The evacuees are Finnish citizens or permanent residents of Finland, along with other persons who have been working for Finland, the EU and NATO, together with their families.
President of the Republic decides on deployment of Defence Forces unit to Kabul Airport to support Finnish relief team
On Friday 20 August, the President of the Republic decided to send a Defence Forces unit to Kabul International Airport to safeguard the evacuation operation of the Finnish relief team. The decision was preceded by deliberations on a report on the matter in the plenary session of Parliament. The report was submitted to Parliament on Thursday 19 August, and the deliberations took one day. The decision to send troops was made in accordance with the Act on the Making of Decisions Concerning the Provision of and Request for International Assistance. This is the first time the Act is being applied.
Finland preparing to deploy Defence Forces troops to Afghanistan
Finland has proposed deploying military forces to support the Foreign Ministry’s relief team carrying out the evacuation operation in Kabul. The decision to send troops is being made in accordance with the Act on Decision-making on the Provision of and Request for International Assistance. This is the first time the Act is being applied.
Finland increases humanitarian assistance to help Afghan people
Finland will provide EUR 3 million through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR to help Afghan refugees. On the World Humanitarian Day celebrated today, the crises in Afghanistan and Haiti remind us of the global humanitarian distress.
Meeting of Heads of Mission organised virtually
The Heads of Finnish Missions abroad will convene for their annual meeting on 23-25 August. The meeting will discuss foreign policy, international relations, the state of the global economy and Finland’s positioning in the post-pandemic world. Due to COVID-19, the Foreign Ministry will hold the meeting virtually in its newly renovated premises in Merikasarmi.
The Finnish Embassy in Kabul is closed for the time being
Due to the security situation in Afghanistan, the Finnish Embassy in Kabul can no longer conduct its activities. As a result, the Embassy will be closed until further notice on 16 August 2021. The diplomatic staff of the mission is being evacuated from the country.
Government added to its decision on Afghanistan
The Finnish Government decided at an extraordinary meeting on 15 August that Finland can admit a maximum of 40 additional current and former Afghan employees and their families. The decision adds to the Government’s decision of 13 August to admit 130 persons to Finland. This means that 170 persons can be relocated from Afghanistan to Finland.
Afghans who have worked for the authorities can be admitted to Finland
In response to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the Finnish Government decided at an extraordinary meeting on 13 August that Afghans who have worked for Finland, the EU and NATO can be admitted to Finland with their families and issued residence permits.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Europe Forum Turku will intensify cooperation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Europe Forum Turku have agreed on a partnership in which the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will support the annual Europe Forum over the period of 2021-2023. The joint aim of the partners is to promote a high-quality, versatile and interesting EU debate.
Protocol no. 15 to the European Convention on Human Rights enters into force on 1 August 2021 – the period for submitting an application to the European Court of Human Rights will be reduced to four months after a transition period
Adopted in June 2013, Protocol No. 15 to the European Convention on Human Rights will enter into force on 1 August 2021. Its entry into force will reduce the application period to four months and also introduce other changes to the right to submit applications to the European Court of Human Rights. The shorter application period is, however, subject to a transition period, which ends on 1 February 2022.
Supporting international non-governmental organisations to promote tax transparency and sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 17 million to international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) for 2021–2024. The support was granted to five organisations for their work on promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs) worldwide, and especially in Afghanistan, and for strengthening tax transparency in sub-Saharan Africa.
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.