Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms

On 27 May 2021, the Government adopted the Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms. The aim was to form a shared overall view on development policy, widely supported by Finnish society.

The Report reiterates that development policy is an integral part of Finland’s foreign and security policy, which aims to enhance security and wellbeing through international cooperation.

A parliamentary monitoring group representing all parliamentary parties took part in the preparation of this report. The Development Policy Committee (DPC) and representatives of various sectors of society were consulted during the preparatory phase and they also had the opportunity to comment on the report.

Report on Development Policy across Parliamentary Terms in the Institutional Repository for the Government(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)

Press Release: Report on Development Policy promotes Finland's long-term and coherent approach to development cooperation (Opens New Window)

Finland strengthens developing countries' capacity to take care of their own wellbeing

Finland’s development policy promotes the worldwide goal aiming at poverty reduction and the realisation of fundamental rights, the rules-based multilateral system and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Opens New Window) adopted in the UN.

The objective of Finland’s development cooperation is to strengthen developing countries’ own societies, including the basis of their economies. A key aim is to ensure that all countries will, over time, be able to finance their own development and wellbeing with domestic resources, particularly through sufficient taxation capacity.

The work is based on transfer of ownership to partner countries and on their national plans. However, those have to be in line with both Finnish and internationally agreed development goals and values.

Finland has also received resources and assistance from abroad to support its development, and Finns have left the country to seek protection or a better income abroad.

Finland's development cooperation priorities are based on its strengths

By means of a long-term and coherent approach to development cooperation, Finland has achieved good results(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). It is in Finland's interest to hold on to this positive trend and to further strengthen it.  

Finland is striving for such systemic changes that not only ensure the effectiveness but also the long-term impacts of development cooperation. Therefore, Finland focuses particularly on the strengths that provide Finland with good opportunities to support sustainable development. 

The main goals of Finland’s development cooperation are

  • promoting the rights of women and girls
  • education and training
  • sustainable economy and decent work
  • peaceful, democratic societies
  • climate change, biodiversity and sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Additionally, Finland gives humanitarian assistance to help people suffering from acute crises.

The cross-cutting objectives that Finland promotes in its development policy are gender equality and non-discrimination, climate-resilient and low-emission development as well as environmental protection, with an emphasis on safeguarding biodiversity.  

We can build a better world together

Finland’s development policy and development cooperation are based on the active participation of the public sector, civil society, the private sector as well as research and educational institutions and on strong partnerships between them. 

It is important for Finnish society to be broadly involved in development policy: sustainable development is the sum total of the work carried out by different actors and of multiple forms of cooperation. Cooperation leads to positive impacts on people's wellbeing and the development of societies in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Finland advances its development policy goals both when acting directly with bilateral partner countries and when providing support for developing countries together with multilateral international institutions and international civil society organisations. The instruments employed are influencing, Finnish expertise and development finance – and often a combination of these.

Finland increases its official development assistance gradually

In the UN, Finland has committed to directing 0.7 per cent of GNI to development cooperation and 0.2 per cent of GNI to the least developed countries. Finland’s 2019 Government Programme requires the preparation of a scheduled roadmap to attain this UN goal. 

Finland is increasing its funding for development cooperation gradually and systematically during several parliamentary terms. 

The target year set for the attainment of the 0.7% level is 2030. The aim is to attain the 0.2 per cent target in the least developed countries as soon as possible.