Finland to re-establish Permanent Representation to Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Finland is currently preparing for its chairpersonship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2025. As part of the preparations, Finland will reinstate the OSCE delegation, which operates in conjunction with the Embassy of Finland in Vienna, as Permanent Representation as of 1 January 2024.
National event to discuss role of the UN Declaration on Human Rights in realising all human rights
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In honour of the anniversary, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise, in cooperation with several partners, a national celebration ‘UN Declaration on Human Rights: 75 years of support to everyday human rights actions’ at Helsinki Music Centre on 8 December.
Matilda af Hällström appointed as Special Adviser to Foreign Minister Valtonen
Matilda af Hällström will serve as Special Adviser to Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen from 4 December 2023 to 12 January 2024. She will deputise for Special Adviser Elisa Tarkiainen, who is on leave of absence.
Finland’s development policy investment to boost agricultural productivity in East Africa
Inflation, disruptions of raw material supply, extreme weather events and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine aggravate the food security situation in East Africa. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland will invest in the ARCAFIM programme to boost the agricultural productivity in the region and improve food security. The programme will also create new jobs and improve the living conditions of up to 1.5 million people. Private sector financing will account for half of the programme’s funding.
Finland to invest in high-growth companies solving development challenges in Asia
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Business Finland will co-host a side event to the Finnish start-up and technology event Slush to offer companies interested in the possibilities of development financing the chance to meet with venture capital investors and UN agencies. One of the development finance institutions present is the ADB Ventures fund of the Asian Development Bank. The Foreign Ministry will announce its investment of EUR 20 million in the fund.
Foreign Ministry publishes open online course on sanctions
Effective implementation of sanctions requires an understanding of sanctions and their application. In order to expand Finns’ knowledge of sanctions, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published an online course on sanctions open to all. The course covers not only the basic aspects of sanctions that are repeated across all sanctions systems, but also the special features of the sanctions against Russia.
Government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO SOFA and Paris Protocol submitted to Parliament
The Finnish Government submitted a proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO SOFA and the Paris Protocol to Parliament on 30 November. In addition to the acts bringing into force the treaties, the proposal contains amendments to nine related acts. The Government’s assessment is that acceptance by Parliament will require a two-thirds majority decision.
Known for good governance, Finland improves its image in tourism
Over the past decade, Finland has improved its ranking in the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index study from 18th to 15th place. The study of people’s images of 60 countries shows that Finland is on the rise, especially as a country to live in or visit.
Minister Tavio to highlight Finnish expertise at COP28 in Dubai
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will visit Dubai in the United Arab Emirates 2–4 December. Minister Tavio will attend events organised as part of the UN Climate Change Conference and meet ministers from other countries and representatives of businesses and international organisations.
Foreign Minister Valtonen to OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Skopje
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will attend the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held in Skopje, North Macedonia, on 29–30 November. North Macedonia holds the OSCE Chairmanship in 2023.
UN Climate Conference to begin in Dubai – special focus on energy solutions
The parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change will convene for the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 30 November–12 December. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will represent Finland at the high-level segment of the Conference on 1–2 December. During the ministerial week between 8 and 12 December, Finland’s delegation will be led by Minister of Climate and the Environment Kai Mykkänen.
EU trade ministers to discuss WTO and trade relations with United States
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will attend a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in its trade configuration in Brussels on 27 November 2023. The trade ministers will discuss the preparations for the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, the EU’s trade agreement with Chile and the EU–US trade relations. The ministers will also discuss the EU’s ongoing bilateral trade negotiations.
Finland’s Ambassador to Moscow informs Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of decision concerning Finland's eastern border
Finland’s Ambassador to Moscow Antti Helanterä visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation at his own request on 24 November to inform on the Finnish Government's decision of 22 November 2023 to temporarily close the border crossing points of Kuusamo, Salla and Vartius.
Finland to grant additional support for Ukraine’s food security and grain exports
Finland will grant EUR 3 million in additional support to improve food security in Ukraine. The funding will be used to support Ukrainian exports of grain to countries where food security is adversely affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some of the funds will be used to help clear mines in rural Ukraine to restart agricultural production.
Minister Tavio to visit India
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will travel to New Delhi, India, with a Finnish business delegation on 22–23 November. During his visit, Minister Tavio will meet with Indian ministers and business representatives and attend the India Nordic-Baltic Business Conclave.
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education to visit Finland
The United Nation’s independent Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Farida Shaheed will visit Finland on 20–29 November. This is the first country visit to the Nordic countries under the mandate of the Special Rapporteur established in 1998. The aim of the visit is to assess how educational rights are observed in Finland.
Analysis of special status of Åland under international law and legal questions associated with Åland
The Legal Service of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has completed a legal analysis of the special status of Åland under international law and of legal questions associated with Åland. The analysis is now available in Finnish and Swedish on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
European Court of Human Rights delivers judgment on case concerning right to fair hearing
On 9 November 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered a judgment on a case concerning the right to a fair hearing. The Court ruled that there had been no violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to a fair hearing).
Finland to support the Red Cross Movement in Israel, Gaza Strip and the West Bank
Finland will award a discretionary government grant amounting to EUR 1 million to support the work of the Israeli Red Cross Society, Magen David Adom, in the aftermath of the Hamas attack in October. In addition, Finland will allocate EUR 4 million in support of the humanitarian efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the occupied Palestinian territory (the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) and in Israel.
Finnish companies to participate in Ukraine’s reconstruction
While continuing to suffer from the consequences of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is busy preparing for reconstruction. Around forty Finnish companies, led by Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio, will participate in Rebuild Ukraine, the exhibition and conference to be held in Warsaw on 14–15 November 2023.
Advance voting abroad in Finland’s presidential elections in 2024
Finland will hold its presidential elections on Sunday 28 January 2024. Advance voting will be possible abroad from 17 to 20 January 2024. The election day for a possible second election (second round) will be 11 February 2024, and advance voting abroad will be possible from 31 January to 3 February 2024.
Foreign Minister Valtonen to visit Berlin for bilateral discussions and NATO cyber defence conference
Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will visit Berlin on 9 November 2023 to meet with Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock and to attend the NATO Annual Cyber Defence Conference.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Billström and Defence Minister Jonson to visit Helsinki
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and Minister for Defence Pål Jonson will visit Helsinki on 8 November to meet Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen and Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen.
Foreign Minister Valtonen to attend Nordic Council Session in Norway
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will visit Oslo on 1 November and attend the 75th Session of the Nordic Council. Minister Valtonen will attend a hearing of foreign ministers at the Plenary of the Nordic Council and a meeting of Nordic foreign ministers in N5 format.
Foreign Ministry to support five Finnish higher education institutions in their collaboration with developing countries
In 2024–2026, the higher education cooperation of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs will prioritise teacher education, climate change and the circular economy, and food security. The Foreign Ministry grants just over EUR 6 million to the seven projects approved for the partnership programme.
Uniform sanctions implementation at the core of the 2nd Border States’ meeting in Vilnius
Border States met in Vilnius to discuss EU sanctions circumvention, especially trade routes and patters, and agreed on concrete common measures to further strengthen implementation of sanctions and prevention of sanctions circumvention.
EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss situation in Israel and in the region, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and developments between Armenia and Azerbaijan
The EU foreign ministers will convene in Luxembourg on 23 October. Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will represent Finland at the meeting. After the Council meeting, the EU foreign ministers will meet with the foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries.
EU trade ministers to discuss economic security and EU–India trade relations
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will attend an informal meeting of EU trade ministers in Valencia, Spain, on 19–20 October. The ministers will discuss economic security and trade relations between the EU and India. The ministers will also discuss the EU’s ongoing bilateral trade negotiations.
Finland and France to co-host School Meals Coalition Global Summit in Paris
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will attend the School Meals Coalition Global Summit in Paris on Wednesday 18 October. Finland and France are co-chairs of the School Meals Coalition, and Minister Tavio is the Global Champion for School Meals. The French President Emmanuel Macron will open the summit.
Foreign Ministry’s report: Russians’ attitudes towards Finland have declined, young people hold more positive attitudes
A recent survey commissioned by the Embassy of Finland in Moscow reveals that more than one in three Russians feel positive about Finland, compared to one in two a year ago. Researchers ascribe the decline in Finland’s reputation among Russians mainly to the negative media coverage of Finland’s membership in NATO. Young people hold the most positive attitudes towards Finland.
European Court of Human Rights delivered a decision on a case concerning continuation of detention on remand
On 12 October 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision on a case concerning continuation of detention on remand. The Court declared inadmissible the application alleging a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security of person) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention).
Finland to launch review of development cooperation with Palestine
Finland unequivocally condemns the assault against Israel by the terrorist organisation Hamas. Following the escalation of the situation, Finland will review its Country Programme for development cooperation in Palestine. In this way, Finland can verify that its support is targeted correctly. The report will be submitted to Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio.
Finland allocates additional EUR 92 million to support to Ukraine and countries affected by Russia’s aggression
Finland’s support to Ukraine, channelled through the World Bank Group, will be used to strengthen basic public services, repair critical infrastructure, promote policy reforms and lay the foundation for Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery. Part of the support will be used to help the least-developed countries affected by the Russian invasion and by other global crises.
Legislative proposal on EU Emergency Travel Document submitted to Parliament
Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has prepared a proposal to enact a new act on the European Union Emergency Travel Document (EU ETD) and to amend the Consular Services Act and the Passport Act. The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on 9 October. The acts are scheduled to enter into force on 8 December 2025.