Foreign Minister Soini's welcoming words at 60th anniversary of Finland's membership of the UN

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini delivered the welcoming words at the 60th anniversary of Finland's membership of the UN at Finlandia Hall on Wednesday 9 December.

Your Excellency, Mr Secretary-General,
Mr President, Prime Minister, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Finlandia Hall to celebrate Finland's 60 years membership of the UN. This building - designed by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto - is itself a symbol of our foreign policy philosophy: Fostering peace and cooperation among nations.

We are honored and pleased to have the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon as our guest of honor.

During the six decades of our membership the UN has been a cornerstone of our international relations. The full house today is a demonstration that the United Nations matters also for society at large.

During this morning you will have a chance to learn more about Finland and the UN. You will hear personal testimonies and examples of our contribution to the UN.

I now have the honor to invite the President of the Republic,
Mr Sauli Niinistö to the podium to give the opening statement of this celebration.