The exceptional circumstances of 2020 showed in consular assistance
In 2020, the Unit for Consular Assistance provided nearly twice as much guidance compared to the previous year. In the spring, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, personal guidance and advice were given to tens of thousands of travellers stranded abroad. Thousands of travellers were assisted in returning to Finland after air traffic ground to a sudden halt.
Discretionary government grants to civil society organisations operating in the field of foreign and security policy, awarded for 2021
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 1 026 000 in discretionary government grants to 14 civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in the field of foreign and security policy.
EU foreign ministers to discuss Russia and meet US foreign minister
The EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on Monday 22 February. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The ministers will exchange views on Russia, the Strategic Compass for EU security and defence policy, and Hong Kong. Foreign Minister Haavisto will give a report on his visit to Ethiopia and Sudan as Special Envoy of the European Union. The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to join the meeting by video conference. On 24 February, Foreign Minister Haavisto will attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
Funding granted for civil society organisations’ development communication and global education projects to promote awareness of and engagement in sustainable development
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has granted EUR 2.17 million to Finnish civil society organisations’ (CSOs) development communication and global education projects in Finland in 2021–2022. In this application round, project support was granted to 19 CSOs.
Support granted for Finnish civil society organisations linked with the UN; the aim is to promote awareness of the UN and sustainable development
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR two million to Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) linked with the UN for their basic operations and development communication and global education activities. In this application round, support was granted to six CSOs.
This is FINLAND Magazine 2021–2022: The Finnish focus on solutions also works in exceptional times
A new edition of This is FINLAND magazine has been published, showcasing Finland’s strengths to the international community. This year’s edition stresses Finnish technological expertise and digitalisation. It also explores our ambition to achieve carbon neutrality, and takes a look at Finnish society both during and after the global pandemic.
Finland seeks membership of UN Human Rights Council
Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2022–2024. The campaign slogan: ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”, underscores the universal nature of human rights. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child underlines the primacy of the child’s best interests in a Finnish asylum case
On 4 February 2021, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted its Views on the primacy of the best interests of the child in a matter concerning asylum. The Committee found that there had been violation of Articles 3 (primacy of the best interests of the child), 19 (protection of the child from violence) and 22 (right of the child to protection and humanitarian assistance; refugees and asylum seekers) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Digitalisation and 5G networks on agenda when Brazilian Communications Minister Fábio Faria visits Finland
Communications Minister of Brazil Fábio Faria will visit Finland on Friday 5 February 2021. His visit is part of a wider five-country tour that key Brazilian decision-makers undertake to survey potential 5G network suppliers in the world. Brazil is planning to organise an auction of 5G frequencies in spring 2021.
Finland strengthens its contribution to education in development cooperation
Finland strengthens its support for education in developing countries as a donor of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). At the virtual Educa goes digital event on Friday 29 January, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari informed that Finland will allocate EUR 25 million to GPE’s next replenishment for 2021-2025.
Minister Ville Skinnari participates in World Economic Forum panel on sustainable investments
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will participate in a panel discussion on sustainable investments, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Friday 29 January. The annual WEF “Davos Agenda” is organised virtually from 25 to 29 January.
Finland continues to fund Syrian women’s peacebuilding efforts
Finland has granted a million euros to UN Women for its peacebuilding activities in Syria. The project, which is entitled Supporting Syrian Women’s Engagement in the Syrian Political Process: Building a Constituency for Peace, aims to support women’s engagement in and influence on political processes in Syria. The project runs from October 2020 until December 2021.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to visit Ethiopia as the EU representative
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has mandated Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto to visit Ethiopia and its neighbouring regions as the EU representative. Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto will travel to the Horn of Africa within the next few weeks. During the visit he will discuss the situation in Ethiopia and its neighbouring regions and ways how the international community could provide support in finding peaceful solutions. The topics to be discussed also include the humanitarian situation in the National Regional State of Tigray in Ethiopia. The European External Action Service and Finland will communicate on the matter in more detail as the visit approaches.
EU foreign ministers meet to discuss climate and energy matters and a broad range of other topical issues
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will hold its first meeting of the year in Brussels on Monday 25 January. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. Climate and energy diplomacy of the EU and discussions with the Foreign Minister of Japan will be the main topics of the meeting. At lunch, the ministers will discuss cooperation between the EU and the United Kingdom in foreign and security policy. The arrest of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny will also be raised.
Development Policy Committee: Safeguarding biodiversity in development policy
Finland must pay stronger and more consistent attention to biodiversity in its development policy and international advocacy work. In addition, developing countries should be supported in their efforts to implement biodiversity agreements. The view is expressed by the Development Policy Committee’s expert group, whose analysis on safeguarding biodiversity was published on Friday 22 January.
Finland’s humanitarian aid increases by 46 per cent from last year – support for education, school meals, rights of women and girls, and disaster risk reduction
Finland provided a historic total of EUR 115 million in humanitarian aid in 2020. Humanitarian aid is one of the most concrete ways of responding to crises and disasters. More than 200 million people across the globe need humanitarian aid due to conflicts, natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign ministers to discuss transatlantic relations and the EU’s strategic autonomy
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 7 December. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main themes of the meeting will be transatlantic relations and the EU’s strategic autonomy.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto attends meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on 3–4 December 2020. The Foreign Ministers of the OSCE participating States will participate in the meeting via video teleconferencing (VTC) under the leadership of Albania, which holds the current OSCE Chairmanship. The meeting aims to decide on appointments of senior OSCE officials and to confirm the Chairmanships for 2023 and 2024.
Strong support for Afghanistan at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference
International community renews its long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan with significant pledges at the conference. Afghanistan and international partners commit to shared development objectives for 2021–2024, and adopt a communique calling for an end to the war and a durable peace, stability and prosperity.
IAEA Director General to Finland
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi will visit Finland on 24–26 November at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. While in Helsinki, Director General Grossi will also discuss with Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.
Ministers Haavisto and Skinnari to co-host 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva
Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will travel Geneva to lead the 2020 Afghanistan Conference to be held on 23–24 November. Finland has co-organised the conference together with the Afghan Government and the United Nations. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the international ministerial conference will be held virtually from Geneva.
EU development ministers to discuss gender equality and debt sustainability in partner countries
EU development ministers will gather to discuss debt sustainability and debt relief in partner countries on 23 November 2020. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Finland supports CSOs’ humanitarian response to COVID-19
Finland allocates EUR 3.1 million to Finnish civil society organisations’ projects that are implemented in response to the humanitarian needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exacerbated ongoing humanitarian crises and forced new regions and population groups to seek emergency relief.
EU foreign affairs ministers discuss the global multilateral system
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend EU foreign ministers’ informal video conference on Thursday 19 November 2020. The items on the agenda will include multilateral cooperation and an exchange of views with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki.
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari to visit Oslo
Minister Skinnari will visit Oslo on 17–19 November 2020. Finland and Norway have strong and versatile bilateral relations. Both countries have a common will to further deepen their mutual cooperation. During his visit to Oslo, Minister Skinnari will particularly focus on the commercial and economic relations between the countries and topical regional and international issues.
EU trade ministers discuss the WTO and EU-US and EU-China trade relations
On 9 November, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend an informal video conference of EU trade ministers. The items of the agenda will be the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the EU’s trade relations with the United States and China.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on democracy, the rule of law and human rights
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 130th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 4 November 2020 will be held in virtual format. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the meeting agenda will be the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy 2020 – security and global responsibility sharing go hand in hand
Today, the Government adopted the Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy and submitted it to Parliament. The Report assesses Finland's foreign and security policy operating environment and defines the goals and priorities of Finnish foreign and security policy. By implementing these goals the Government strengthens Finland's security and prosperity.
Ministers Lintilä and Skinnari to make a virtual export promotion visit to Germany
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will make a virtual Team Finland visit to Germany on 29 October 2020. The aim is to strengthen relations between Finnish and German companies, particularly within the battery industry, the bioeconomy and circular economy, and the digitalisation of health services.
Prime Minister Marin presents Finland’s programme for next year’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers
At their videoconference on 27 October, the Nordic Prime Ministers and the Presidium of the Nordic Council discussed the state of Nordic cooperation when it comes to public safety. At the meeting, Prime Minister Sanna Marin presented Finland’s programme for next year’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Marin stated that the Nordic countries are leading the way in the fight against climate change.
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Skinnari attends OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on sustainable path to recovery
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will hold its Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) on 28–29 October in virtual format. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and State Secretary to the Minister of Economic Affairs Kimmo Tiilikainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto in Afghanistan— pledging conference arrangements on the final stages
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto paid a two-day visit to Afghanistan on 26–27 October 2020. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss current issues and the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-hosted by Finland, the Afghan Government and the United Nations, which will be held in November. “The pledging conference will take place in the middle of a historic peace process. Support from the international community is needed to have a sustainable foundation for the peace process. As one of the co-hosts of the Conference, Finland plays a central role in ensuring that this support will be available,” Haavisto says.
Nordic countries to provide additional EUR 350 million for climate work in developing countries
Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have decided to strengthen the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with additional capital of EUR 350 million. Finland’s share of this capital increase will be EUR 58.1 million.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Afghanistan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto is visiting Afghanistan. During the visit, Foreign Minister Haavisto meets representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and the country’s leadership and partner organisations engaged in development cooperation with Finland as well as representatives of civil society organisations and the international community.
Government’s supplementary budget proposal includes support for global development in helping tackle COVID-19 pandemic
The Government’s proposal for this year’s seventh supplementary budget contains a package of more than EUR 100 million for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the agencies and bodies within its administrative branch. The additional appropriations will enable Finland to support a global solution for the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and to promote Finnish exports.