A public discussion event at the Think Corner, University of Helsinki, ahead of the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs
On 26 August 2019, at 17.00–18.30, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a free discussion event open to the public. It will give insight into the themes of the informal meetings of the EU’s defence and foreign affairs ministers (Gymnich), to take place in Finland next week.
EU foreign ministers to meet in Helsinki to discuss wider Middle East, hybrid threats and Arctic region
The foreign ministers of the EU member states will hold an informal meeting (Gymnich) in Helsinki on 29 and 30 August. The topics to be discussed include the wider Middle East, the Arctic region and hybrid threats. In addition, regional cooperation will be discussed with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkan partners.
Over 134 million people in need of emergency relief - World Humanitarian Day highlights the position of women in the middle of crises
On World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, the UN focuses on the special needs of women and girls in humanitarian aid work. During its presidency of the Council of the European Union, Finland also stresses how important it is to prevent sexual and gender-based violence and to support its victims in crises.
UN Social Impact Investing Initiative opens new office in Helsinki – billion-euro projects will attract private finance to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals
The Social Impact Investing Initiative is an innovative way of channelling finance towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Finland is planning to provide about EUR 20 million in support for the Initiative.
Humanitarian action under threat: Geneva Conventions turn 70, but aiding victims is more dangerous than ever
Safety considerations have become a significant constraint on humanitarian action and relief in recent years. The Red Cross and UN emblems are no longer respected in conflicts. This hampers the work of humanitarian organisations and the distribution of humanitarian aid.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend international conference on Venezuela in Peru
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will participate in an international conference dealing with the situation in Venezuela on 6 August in Lima, Peru. The meeting will be attended by foreign ministers from around the world, particularly from the Latin American countries, the Caribbean and North America. During his visit, Haavisto will also meet for bilateral talks with the foreign ministers of several Latin American countries.
Minister Skinnari to visit the Development Committee of European Parliament
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will make a presentation before the Development Committee (DEVE) of European Parliament in Brussels on 24 July 2019. The Minister will present Finland’s priorities in the field of humanitarian aid during the country’s Presidency of the EU Council and exchange views on EU development policy with the EP committee within his remit.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels
The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union will meet on Monday 15 July in Brussels. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The FAC will discuss the situation in Iraq, Iran and the Central African Republic. The external dimension of migration will also be on the agenda. There will also be an informal lunch with the new Moldovan Foreign Minister.
Finland to participate in the work of a group defending media freedom
Johanna Sumuvuori, State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, is leading the Finnish delegation to a high-level conference for media freedom held in London on 10–11 July. The conference was convened by Jeremy Hunt, the UK Foreign Secretary.
Finnish Foreign Minister Haavisto to travel to Sudan and the region on behalf of the EU
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto will visit Sudan and several countries of the Red Sea and broader region over the course of the next weeks to discuss the situation in Sudan. He has received a mandate from High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini to reach out, on behalf of the European Union, on both the situation in the country and on how the international community can accompany Sudan on its transition path.
Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU and the learning crisis to be discussed in Pori
Like before, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be present at SuomiAreena, the most important open-air forum for public discussion organised every summer in Pori. This year, SuomiAreena will be held from 15 to 19 July 2019.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend an informal OSCE meeting in Slovakia
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend an informal ministerial gathering of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which will be held in Slovakia’s High Tatras on 9 July. The main theme of the meeting will be conflict prevention. Ministers will discuss opportunities to promote stability and security in the OSCE region.
Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto attends the 2019 Western Balkans Summit in Poland
On 4 July 2019, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Western Balkans Summit to be held in Poznań, Poland. The main topics will be regional cooperation in the Western Balkans and strengthening the EU perspective.
Minister Skinnari at WTO: Trade plays an important role in the attainment of the sustainable development goals
“With several trade disputes going on, it is even more important than before to defend the multilateral rules-based trading system. Poor developing countries are the biggest losers in the face of growing protectionism,” stressed Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari in his statement at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva on Wednesday on 3 July.
The EU playing field – opening event of Finland’s Presidency
Finland will celebrate the opening of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union with a free summer party in Töölönlahti Park on 8 July. Europe Information of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office, the European Commission and the European Parliament invite all comers to enjoy a summer day of informal EU-themed events in Kansalaistori (Citizen’s Square).
Free Trade Agreement with Vietnam opens doors for growing markets
The EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in Hanoi on 30 June 2019. The agreement is expected to enter into force in early 2020. It is the most ambitious and comprehensive agreement ever concluded by the EU with a developing country. The FTA opens up new market access and business opportunities also for Finnish companies.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend the Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Ukraine Reform Conference, to be held in Toronto on 1–2 July. The conference will take stock of the implementation of the existing reforms and reinforce international support for Ukraine.
Finns emphasise equality and climate action in EU development policy
The Finns consider that the key themes during Finland’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union should be the position of women and girls, and climate action. Education is considered the area where Finland can contribute the most in its own development cooperation activities. The results are based on a survey carried out for the Foreign Ministry by Taloustutkimus.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto to EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg
The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Luxembourg on 17 June. This will be the first time that Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto represent Finland at the meeting. The Council will discuss the EU Global Strategy, the effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and the situation in Sudan.
Paula Parviainen appointed Foreign Ministry’s Director General of Communications
Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Paula Parviainen has worked as Acting Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs since 1 June, following Director General of Communications Jouni Mölsä‘s transfer to serve as Finland’s national expert at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels.
The Council of Europe reviews action against human trafficking in Finland
On 5 June 2019, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) published the second report concerning its evaluation of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings in Finland. The evaluation report focuses on new trends in trafficking in human beings (THB) and on the vulnerability of children to trafficking.
Top experts gather to an international conference in Helsinki – How to harness technology for building peace?
The fourth Conference on National Dialogues will bring together peace work stakeholders and experts in peace processes in Helsinki on 11 and 12 June. The two-day conference will discuss ways of using technology in peacebuilding and examine potential risks for peace processes arising from technology.
Antti Hartikainen appointed Head of Mission for EUAM Ukraine
On 4 June 2019, the Council of the European Union appointed Antti Hartikainen, Colonel (ret.) at the Finnish Border Guard, to serve as Head of Mission for the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine).
Finland wants to encourage equality and give the world a word – their all-inclusive personal pronoun, hän
Like many languages, Finnish is full of loanwords – words that were, at some point, borrowed from other languages and incorporated into Finnish. Finland would now like to give the rest of the world a word, to encourage international discussion about equality and inclusivity, and to support everyone who is working to promote them. The word is: hän.
Foreign Ministry focuses on Africa at the World Circular Economy Forum 2019
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will attend the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2019, organised by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. At a discussion session organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the African Development Bank on Monday 3 June, speakers will include Vincent Biruta, Minister of the Environment of Rwanda, and Anthony Nyong, Head of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank.
Minister Virolainen and other EU trade ministers to discuss the WTO, EU-US trade relations, and free trade agreements
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will meet to discuss trade issues on 27 May in Brussels. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen.
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Virolainen to attend OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on digitalisation in Paris
The OECD will hold its Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) in Paris on 22–23 May 2019. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen.
Permanent State Secretary Anttonen to a festive Team Finland visit to Japan
Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen, accompanied by a business delegation, will visit Japan on 22–24 May 2019, where he will also participate in the events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan.
Member States of the Council of Europe issued a unanimous Declaration and made significant decisions in Helsinki
The Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe ended successfully. The member States unanimously adopted a Declaration, which emphasises the far-reaching significance of the Council of Europe for human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Virolainen to EU development ministers' meeting in Brussels
EU development ministers will have a meeting at the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 May in Brussels. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen.
Finland hosts Session of Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in Helsinki
The Session of the Committee of Ministers, to be held at Finlandia Hall on 17 May 2019, will mark the end of Finland’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. At the meeting, Finland will hand over the Presidency to France. More than 30 ministers from the member States of the Council of Europe will attend the meeting. The meeting will be chaired by Foreign Minister Timo Soini.