Minister Ville Skinnari to visit Stockholm to discuss trade policy and sustainable development
On 18 February, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Stockholm to attend a meeting convened by Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg. The meeting will discuss ways to promote trade and sustainable development. In addition to Minister Skinnari, representatives of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic are expected to attend the meeting.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 17 February. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The topics on the agenda will be the EU’s relationship with the African Union and the situation in Libya. In connection with the meeting, Foreign Ministers will also meet the Indian Minister of External Affairs to discuss the preparations for the upcoming EU–India Summit.
Minister Ville Skinnari to Brussels to discuss the EU's new Africa Strategy
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles and EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen have invited EU development ministers to discuss the new EU Strategy for Africa at an informal lunch in Brussels on 13 February. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland at the meeting.
Discretionary government transfers granted for civil society organisations’ Europe information in 2020
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 420,000 in discretionary government transfers to 20 civil society organisations’ (CSOs) Europe information. The total number of supported projects is 22.
Finland to lead the Freedom Online Coalition in 2021
Finland has been elected as the Chair of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a partnership committed to supporting internet freedoms and promoting respect for human rights, FOC members for the year 2021. The decision was announced on Friday 7 February at the Annual Freedom Online Conference in Accra.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna
On 10 February, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Vienna to attend the third International Conference on Nuclear Security, organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). While in Vienna, Minister Haavisto will meet, among others, Austria’s Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Alexander Schallenberg and Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler.
Development Policy Committee appointed – new role and reformed composition
The Development Policy Committee (DPC) for this government term met at its first plenary session on 6 February 2020. Its key aim is to encourage discussion on development policy at national and, in particular, parliamentary levels. All parliamentary parties and key stakeholders in development policy contexts are represented in the Committee.
Visit to military bases in Lapland in line with OSCE Vienna document
Finland will organise an international visit to Lapland Air Command and Jaeger Brigade on 11 to 15 May 2020. An invitation will be sent to all participating States of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a total of 56 countries.
The European Committee on Social Rights made a ruling against Finland on restricting the right to early childhood education and care
On 4 February, the European Committee on Social Rights issued its ruling on a collective complaint lodged by the Central Union for Child Welfare against Finland in November 2016 concerning the restriction of children's subjective right to early childhood education and care.
Personal Envoy of UN Secretary-General to visit Finland to report on Mozambican peace process
Mirko Manzoni, Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Mozambique and Neha Sanghrajka, Senior Mediation Advisor, will visit Finland on 3–4 February. The Mozambican peace process is in a critical phase as the opposition troops are being demobilised. The aim is to return them to their communities and reintegrate them into a peaceful society.
Finland to lead the Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention
On 31 January, Finland’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Nina Nordström, was elected as Chair of the Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Albania were elected as Vice-Chairs.
Foreign ministers of Sweden and Norway to visit Finland
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Norway’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide will visit Finland on 5–6 February. The two ministers will attend the Hanalys seminar on foreign and security policy at Hanaholmen on 6 February.
Additional funding of 22.5 million euros for civil society organisations’ development cooperation as part of the implementation of the Government Programme
By decision of Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted 22.5 million euros for Finnish civil society organisations’ (CSOs) development cooperation programmes in Africa for 2020–2021.
Representative of northeast Syrian autonomous administration to visit Finland
Dr Abdulkarim Omar, who represents the autonomous administration of northeast Syria, will visit Helsinki on 29–30 January 2020. Omar is Co-Chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in northeast Syria, which has declared itself as an autonomous region.
Minister for Development and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari to the Arctic Frontiers 2020 Conference in Tromsø
Minister for Development and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend the Arctic Frontiers 2020 Conference in Tromsø on 27 January. It is one of the most important regular international events concentrating on Arctic cooperation.
Finland to reopen its embassy in Manila
Finland is preparing the reopening of its embassy in Manila, the Philippines. The Finnish embassy in Manila was closed in 2012 due to cuts in Foreign Service appropriations. Since then, Finland has handled its relations with the Philippines from Malaysia. Customers have been served at Finland’s Consular Office in Manila.
Finland to support disability rights in Syria
Finland is to allocate EUR 4 million to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for use in rehabilitating people with disabilities, including seriously injured civilians, supporting livelihoods and improving attitudes towards people with disabilities in Syria. This is a follow-on from Finland's earlier support for the same purpose.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend the Holocaust Ministerial Conference and Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
Foreign Minister Haavisto will represent Finland at the Ministerial Conference of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Brussels on 19 January. On the following day, 20 January, the Minister will attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council. The Foreign Affairs Council will focus on the Sahel and climate diplomacy.
Travelling abroad? Remember to use the Foreign Ministry’s services for peace of mind
When Finns travel abroad, the majority of trips go according to plan. In 2019, approximately 251,000 people registered their travel details at matkustusilmoitus.fi, a service maintained by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The most common travel destinations registered were Spain, Thailand and Turkey. In the event of a crisis situation of some kind, the Ministry sends information and guidance to those who had submitted travel details indicating they could be in the area affected. In 2019, there were 142 such crisis situations, most of which involved natural disasters.
What kind of world do we operate in? The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a series of panel discussions on topical foreign and security policy matters at Finnish universities
Preparations for a new report on foreign and security policy are currently under way. As part of this process, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a series of panel discussions on topical foreign and security policy questions in cooperation with five Finnish universities in spring 2020.
Meeting of co-chairs of the Finnish-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation
On 15–16 January, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will travel to Moscow for a co-chairs’ meeting of the Finnish-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation.
Extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Iraq and the regional situation
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 10 January. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The meeting will focus on the situation in Iraq and on ways to de-escalate tensions in the region. The current situation in Libya will also be discussed.
Two children from al-Hol camp in the care of Finnish authorities
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs confirms that two Finnish children from the al-Hol camp are in the care of the authorities, who aim to repatriate them to Finland. The authorities will organise a press conference in Helsinki at a date to be announced later.
Finnish authorities preparing to receive children from al-Hol camp
The public authorities are preparing to repatriate two Finnish children from the Syrian al-Hol camp. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will provide detailed information once the children are safe and in the care of the Finnish authorities. Information on their arrival in Finland will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.
Tuula Yrjölä to assume a leading post at the OSCE at the beginning of 2020
Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has appointed Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä from Finland as Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC) and Deputy Secretary General, starting from the beginning of 2020. The position is an important post at the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna.
Finland strengthens the activities of Nepalese schools through UNICEF
Finland will allocate EUR 8 million from development cooperation funds to the work of the United Nations Children's Fund in Nepal. The funding of UNICEF's country programme will improve the quality of teaching for the next three years, as well as the water and sanitation services of communities and schools.
Finland increases its support for the African Development Fund
Finland will contribute EUR 68.4 million to the replenishment of the African Development Fund (AfDF), which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group. Finland is also preparing a loan of EUR 80 million for the AfDF. The AfDF supports the continent's poorest countries.
The need for humanitarian assistance across the world is growing – strong support from Finland for the most vulnerable groups
According to a new UN assessment, 168 million people in 53 countries are currently in need of emergency relief. The guidelines for persons with disabilities in humanitarian crises, supported by Finland, have recently been adopted at both EU and UN levels.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs launches a bug bounty programme for finding vulnerabilities in online services
A bug bounty project provides opportunities for information security researchers and hackers to examine, within a set of defined boundaries, the information security of selected services on the Internet. The protective measures of the targeted systems will not be opened for the duration of the project.
Minister Skinnari to Washington
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Washington, the Unites States on 3 to 4 December. During his visit, he will meet United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other representatives of the administration. He will also visit the US Congress.
Finland wants to raise business and human rights higher on EU agenda
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a conference to advance EU-level discussions on how businesses can better take human rights into account in their own activities, in the activities of their partners and in their supply chains. Minister of Employment Timo Harakka will open and close the conference.
Minister Skinnari to lead a Team Finland visit to Toronto
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will lead an export promotion visit to Toronto, Canada, on 2 December. During his visit, he will attend the opening of the Toronto Office of Business Finland. The Minister will be accompanied by a business delegation representing Finnish expertise in the bioeconomy and circular economy sectors.
Foreign Minister Haavisto at UKK heritage association: Agreements-based system also serves Finland’s interest
Speaking before the association dedicated to Finland’s former President Urho Kekkonen in Helsinki on 28 November 2019, Foreign Minister Haavisto underlined the positive role that Finland plays in the international agreements-based system.