This is FINLAND Magazine 2022–2023: Towards a more sustainable and humane future
This is FINLAND Magazine 2022–2023, providing insights into Finland’s strengths and competence, has now been published in English. This year’s issue has a strong focus on the future. The key topics – digitalisation, curbing climate change, happiness, a good daily life, changes in the workplace and trust – are of great interest both in Finland and worldwide.
Finland releases more than EUR 27 million core humanitarian funding
Core funding to international humanitarian organisations is a rapid and effective way to respond to sudden-onset natural disasters and protracted crises. Finland’s 27.5-million-euro funding will help UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC to operate in areas where people need help, and to plan their operations flexibly.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels and to meet NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 24 January. The main items on the agenda are the security situation in Eastern Europe and the latest developments in Libya and Syria. The ministers will also discuss the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the situation in Mali, Sudan and Kazakhstan. Later the same day, Foreign Minister Haavisto and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss security situation in Eastern Europe
EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an Informal Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) on 13–14 January in Brest, France. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Finland increases its support to victims of the most serious crimes of international concern
Finland’s support will be targeted at providing assistance to victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and at implementing reparations awarded to former child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as ordered by the International Criminal Court.
Finland invests in fighting climate change in North Africa
Finland will strengthen its role in the fight against climate change through an investment in a new partnership launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The funding will be targeted at climate action in North Africa.
Finland’s presidency of N5 and NB8 end with Foreign Minister meetings on 20 and 21 December
In 2021, Finland chaired the Nordic (N5) cooperation on foreign and security policy and the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) cooperation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will host the last meetings of the two presidencies as virtual meetings on 20 December (N5) and 21 December (NB8).
Finland promotes global vaccination coverage
Finland will donate the second batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses through Team Europe. These vaccines were purchased in advance and they would remain unused in Finland. The vaccine donations will not slow down the rollout of vaccinations in Finland. Finland’s donation of COVID-19 doses and support for vaccine alliance Gavi will increase global vaccine coverage and prevent the rise of new variants.
Finland allocates EUR 125 million to support the world's poorest countries
Finland will contribute EUR 125 million to the replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), which is part of the World Bank Group. The replenishment process was brought forward to help the world’s poorest countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finland alleviates Afghans’ distress
Finland’s bilateral development cooperation with Afghanistan will remain suspended, but funds will be channelled to humanitarian activities and to responding to people’s basic needs. Finland’s support is delivered through the UN and civil society organisations and it will not fall in the hands of or support the Taliban. A new temporary policy line has been adopted by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
EU Foreign Affairs Council meets in Brussels
The EU Foreign Ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday 13 December. State Secretary Johanna Sumuvuori will represent Finland at the meeting. The Foreign Affairs Council will focus on EU-Africa relations, Central Asia and Venezuela. During a working lunch, ministers will have an informal exchange with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. Under current affairs, the Council will discuss topics including Belarus, Varosha, Ethiopia and Ukraine.
Government report on human rights policy stresses the universality of human rights and strengthening of equality
The Government’s human rights policy report stresses action to strengthen equality and gender equality. Finland rejects attempts to undermine the universality of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Finnpartnership's new, revised programme period to be begin - Support for companies aiming for developing markets
The terms and conditions of Business Partnership Support for Finnish companies aiming for developing markets to change on 1 January 2022. Services offered to companies and the effectiveness of the programme will be developed during the new three-year programming period.
Minister Blomqvist participates in a conference on sustainable Nordic democracy
Minister for Nordic Cooperation Thomas Blomqvist will participate virtually in a conference on strong democratic systems typical of the Nordic countries. The conference, which will be held in Copenhagen on 8 December aims to show how sustainable democracy in the Nordic region is strengthened by the participation of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland in Nordic cooperation alongside with the Nordic states.
Finland opens embassies in Dakar and Doha
Today, the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö approved an amendment to the Decree of the President of the Republic on the Foreign Service. The amendment concerning the locations of Finland’s diplomatic missions and the provision of consular services in the Diplomatic Service will enter into force on 10 December 2021. With the amendment, embassies of Finland will be established in Dakar, Senegal, and in Doha, Qatar, as of 10 December 2021.
Humanitarian assistance is needed more than ever before — Finland strengthens food security and supports safe childbirths in crisis areas
The UN estimates that 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. The needs are increasing, for example due to the escalation of conflicts in Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Finland will increase its support for the alleviation of human suffering in crisis areas, which is why Finland will raise its funding for humanitarian assistance to EUR 113 million this year.
OpenAid.fi is a new website presenting data on the use of Finland’s development cooperation funds
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published a website on where, how and when Finland’s development cooperation funds are used. Launching this public site increases the openness and transparency of development cooperation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to host a Freedom Online Conference at foreign ministerial level
The 10th anniversary of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) will be celebrated at the end of Finland’s Chairship. On 3 December, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will host a virtual Conference of foreign ministers representing 34 FOC member governments. The Freedom Online Coalition 10th Anniversary Helsinki Declaration for open and accessible internet and human rights-based digitalisation will be launched at the Conference.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which will be held in Stockholm on 1–2 December. Sweden holds the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2021. The meeting will discuss, among others, conflicts in the OSCE region as well as the situation in Afghanistan and its wider security impacts.
Support for international non-governmental organisations to promote human rights in developing countries
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 17.82 million to international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) for 2022–2024. Support was granted to 11 international human rights organisations operating in developing countries, whose work focuses on four themes: ending impunity; supporting human rights defenders; strengthening the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and addressing discriminatory practices; and business and human rights.
Delegation from Kosovo visits Finland
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation will host a delegation from Kosovo on 1 to 3 December 2021 in Helsinki, Finland. The delegation consists of political decision-makers. During their three-day stay in Helsinki, the delegation has meetings with Finnish and international experts.
Finland to chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2025
On 30 November 2021, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided that Finland is to chair the organisation in 2025. The year 2025 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which was adopted at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1975.
Minister Haavisto to attend meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs
NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet from 30 November to 1 December 2021 in Riga. Finland and Sweden as NATO partner countries and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are invited to participate in the discussion concerning the Western Balkans region, which will be held on 1 December. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean wants closer cooperation
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona on Monday 29 November. A foreign ministerial meeting of the European Union and Southern Neighbourhood will be held on the same day.
Funding allocated to Finnish civil society organisations for reducing poverty and inequality
Programme-based support for Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) is allocated for the implementation of Finland’s development policy objectives to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and promote human rights. The work is carried out in close cooperation with developing countries’ own CSOs. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted approximately EUR 276 million for Finnish CSO’s multiannual development cooperation in 2022–2025.
Changes to fees for identity cards and passports issued by missions as of 1 January 2022
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has issued a Decree on the Amendment of Fees for Services Produced by the Foreign Service for 2020–2022. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2022 and will remain in force until 31 December 2022.
Social security agreement between Finland and Japan enters into force on 1 February 2022
The social security agreement between Finland and Japan will enter into force on 1 February 2022. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, and Takashi Murata, Japan’s Ambassador to Finland, exchanged notes on 25 November to bring the bilateral agreement into force. When the agreement enters into force, workers posted to a Contracting State will avoid double pension and unemployment insurance contributions.
Thursday is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – Merikasarmi to be lit up in orange
The United Nations has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day begins an annual international campaign called 16 Days of Activism, which draws attention to this important human rights violation. During the day, well-known buildings around the world will be illuminated in orange – the colour chosen to symbolise the day. This year, the Government will observe the day by illuminating the Merikasarmi building of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Minister Blomqvist to Nordic conference on Faeroe Islands to discuss experiences during COVID-19 pandemic
On 25 November, Minister for Nordic Cooperation Thomas Blomqvist will attend a conference in Torshavn on the Faeroe Islands. The conference will discuss the experiences gained from crisis management in the Nordic countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and future Nordic cooperation in crisis preparedness. This is one of the key priorities for Finland’s Presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021.
Minister Skinnari to visit Oslo
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Oslo on 22–23 November. Minister Skinnari will meet ministers of Norway’s new Government and visit a waste treatment plant that makes use of carbon capture technologies. The Minister will also attend a seminar organised by the Finnish and Norwegian Shipowners Associations and the Embassy of Finland in Oslo.
Minister Blomqvist to forum for cross-border regional cooperation
Minister for Nordic Cooperation Thomas Blomqvist will speak in a forum on the state and future of cross-border regional cooperation (Gränsregionalt Forum) in Oulu on 18 November. He will also meet local actors, including representatives of the Bothnian Arc collaboration and the City of Oulu, BusinessOulu and the University of Oulu.
Foreign Minister Haavisto presents the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in Rovaniemi
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will present the priorities of Finland’s Presidency in connection with the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference on 16 November. In Rovaniemi, the Minister will also meet representatives of the Sámi Parliament and speak at the University of Lapland.
Minister Skinnari to discuss citizens’ opportunities to exert influence in the EU on “We are Europe” tour
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will discuss citizens’ opportunities to exert influence in the EU at Lahti main library on 16 November. The aim is to hear people’s thoughts and wishes about the future of Europe. The event is part of Finnish Ministers’ “We are Europe” tour.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to the EU Foreign Affairs Council and meeting of foreign ministers on the Eastern Partnership in Brussels
EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday 15 November. The main topics on the meeting agenda will be the Sahel, the Western Balkans and the Strategic Compass for security and defence cooperation in the EU. Topical issues on the agenda will include Belarus, the geopolitical dimensions of energy prices, Ethiopia, Sudan and the outcome of the COP26 summit. The meeting of foreign ministers on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) will discuss the future priorities of the cooperation and prepare for the Eastern Partnership summit, on 15 December.
Finland and Belgium to co-chair group developing humanitarian donorship
Finland and Belgium will co-chair the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative for the next two years. As co-chair, Finland will have a stronger role in improving good humanitarian donorship practices at a time when the need for humanitarian assistance is higher than ever.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to discuss a globally stronger EU at a “We are Europe” discussion event
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will discuss the EU’s global role in the Think Corner in Helsinki on 9 November. The aim is to hear people’s thoughts and wishes about the future of Europe. The event is part of Finnish ministers’ “We are Europe” tour.
Development Policy Committee: Finland still needs to catch up on goals in development policy
The Government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin has made a good start in implementing the development policy entries in the Government Programme. However, there continues to be room for improvement. At present, the main focus should be on preparing a clear roadmap, extending beyond the current government term, in order to raise development finance to the UN’s recommendation of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI). The recommendation should be achieved by 2030.