Finnish peacekeepers conclude UN mission in Mali
Finland’s military participation in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has ended and the remaining Finnish soldiers serving in the peacekeeping mission have returned home. The mission has supported the transitional authorities of Mali to create and maintain a safe operating environment to reconstruct their country.
Foreign Ministry’s draft budget for 2024 focuses on support for Ukraine and Finland’s NATO membership
The Finnish Government proposes EUR 1.3 billion in appropriations for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Ministry will continue to support Ukraine in 2024, as outlined in the Government programme.
Cuisine takes Finland to world stage
The Finnish Chef Association has published Finnish food recipes (‘Suomiruoka-reseptiikka’) to promote Finland’s country branding and food exports. The recipes will serve Finnish embassies and missions around the world and those organising international meetings and events in Finland. When ready, the material will be freely available to everyone. The material was produced under an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Ministers Valtonen and Tavio to attend high-level week of UN General Assembly in New York
The high-level meetings of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) will start in New York on Monday 18 September. Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will attend ministerial events in New York and have bilateral meetings with their counterparts and with representatives of the UN. Minister Tavio’s programme will also include meetings to promote Finland’s commercial and economic interests in the New York metropolitan area.
Reform of Finnish Foreign Service: working group to start on 4 September
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has appointed an internal working group to prepare a reform of the Foreign Service in accordance with the Government Programme. The term of the working group will last from 4 September to December, when the group will submit its final report and recommendations to the ministers of the Foreign Ministry.
Changes to prices of services provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland’s missions abroad
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs proposes an increase to some of the prices of services provided by Finland’s missions abroad and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The new prices would enter into force on 1 September 2023.
European Committee of Social Rights delivers decision on rights of persons with disabilities in COVID-19 response in spring 2020
In a decision published on 25 August 2023, the European Committee of Social Rights concluded that the right of persons with disabilities to protection of health, social integration and participa-tion in the life of the community as laid down in the revised European Social Charter, as well as the prohibition of discrimination, were not violated in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020.
Government to fly flags for Ukrainian Independence Day on Thursday 24 August
In honour of Ukrainian Independence Day on Thursday 24 August, the Government will fly the Ukrainian flag at Senate Square and at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ main building Merikasarmi, which will also be illuminated in blue and yellow in the evening.
EU imposes new sanctions on Belarus
The European Union has imposed new sanctions on Belarus in response to the deteriorating internal situation in Belarus and to the country’s involvement in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The EU Member States approved further sanctions against Belarus on 3 August 2023.
Customer service at Finland’s Consulate General in St Petersburg to close on 1 September, applications for visas and residence permits not received in Russia in August
On 6 July 2023, Russia announced the closure of Finland’s Consulate General in St Petersburg as of 1 October 2023. Consequently, the customer service at the Consulate General will close as of 1 September 2023.
EU prohibits the export to Iran of drones and components used in their construction and production
The EU adopted a new regime of sanctions, prohibiting the export from the European Union to Iran of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their components. The new regime complements the previously adopted EU sanctions against Russia and Iran.
UN Food Systems Summit +2 in Rome: Finland advocates expanding school feeding to support the learning and development of children and young people
The first stocktaking meeting of the UN Food Systems Summit held two years ago takes place in Rome on 24–26 July. Finland highlights its experiences as a frontrunner in providing school meals.
US President's visit to Helsinki attracts international media attention
United States President Joseph Biden’s visit to Helsinki attracted a great deal of attention in the international media. The visit was mentioned in nearly 18,000 online media articles between 1 and 17 July 2023. Although a significant number of the articles focused on President Biden, Finland also got its share of the visibility.
EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Türkiye, and economic security
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 20 July. Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will represent Finland at the meeting. The ministers will also have an informal exchange of views with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken via videoconference.
Nordic countries' joint commitment to support Ukraine's security
In their joint statement of 12 July 2023, the Nordic countries express their readiness to support Ukraine and its security in the long term, building on the security commitments made to Ukraine by the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States).
The UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to tackle challenges facing the 2030 Agenda goals
The UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will be held in New York on 10–19 July 2023. The Forum will discuss the acceleration of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.
Finland continues to impose travel restrictions on Russian citizens
Finland will continue to impose restrictions on the travel by citizens of the Russian Federation on the basis of a government resolution issued on 6 July 2023. Non-essential travel by Russian citizens to Finland and through Finland to the rest of the Schengen area will continue to be restricted for the time being. At the same time, restrictions will be tightened for business travellers, property owners and students.
Russia to expel nine persons working in Finland's diplomatic missions to Russia and announced closure of Finland's Consulate General in St Petersburg
On 6 July 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation notified Ambassador of Finland Antti Helanterä of forthcoming expulsions. Russia also announced that it would cancel the authorisation of Finland's Consulate General in St Petersburg as of 1 October.
11th package of EU sanctions against Russia focuses on preventing sanctions circumvention
The European Union introduces significant new instruments in its eleventh package of restrictive measures against Russia to prevent circumvention and evasion of sanctions, particularly through third countries. These instruments include several facilities for targeting sanctions against parties that circumvent sanctions and assist in such circumvention. Export bans, bans on transit through Russia and individual sanctions lists are expanded.
Most Finns think Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases need for development cooperation
A recent survey shows that 85 per cent of Finns believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases the need for development cooperation and humanitarian aid. However, attitudes towards development cooperation are dividing Finns.
Finland continues long-term support to UN, benefiting women and girls, children and education
Finland is supporting UN sustainable development goals by channelling aid to demonstrably effective UN agencies. This support for UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and UNDP promotes Finland’s foreign policy goals and values, such as enhancing the rights and equality of women and girls, and people with disabilities.