Cooperation with partner countries in Asia discussed at the World Village Festival

Cooperation with partner countries in Asia discussed at the World Village Festival

The Foreign Ministry is taking part in the World Village Festival to be held in Helsinki the weekend of 28–29 May. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka talks about the importance of Finland’s support to partner countries in Asia – and to Finns – at Railway Square on Saturday.

The discussion on Finland’s support and the various forms of cooperation in Asia takes place on the Mekong Stage at Railway Square on Saturday from 12.10 to 12.40.

Jounalist Reetta Räty interviews Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka, Director General Kimmo Lähdevirta of the Department for the Americas and Asia, and the well-known rap artist Signmark, the Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative to promote the rights of people with disability.

This year visitors can test their knowledge about Sustainable Development goals. Foto: Hanna Päivärinta/MFA
This year visitors can test their knowledge about Sustainable Development Goals. Foto: Hanna Päivärinta/MFA

Topics for discussion include the revised priorities of Finland’s development policy and the new forms of cooperation between Finland and Vietnam following on development cooperation. Also discussed are promoting the rights of persons with disability: How does Finland take people in the most vulnerable position into account in its activities?

Director General Kimmo Lähdevirta served as Finland’s Ambassador to Vietnam until last autumn, so he is very familiar with the country’s recent development and opportunities for Finnish companies. Minister Toivakka, in turn, participated in the Team Finland visit to Vietnam in March, when she met extensively with local authorities as well as with representatives of companies and universities.

As the Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative, in his meetings Signmark has sought to promote the position of persons with disability in various parts of the world. Last autum Signmark visited Nepal, where he met students and staff members at a school for the deaf.

The discussion is interpreted in Sign Language.

After the discussion, Signmark performs on the Mekong Stage from 12.40 to 13.00 Vocals for his musical performance are by Chike Ohanwe.

Learn about Finland’s development cooperation

The Foreign Ministry’s stand at Railway Square presents the Finnish development cooperation and the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action approved by the UN last autumn.

The Maailma 2030 (World 2030) exhibition travelling from one school to another and the supporting website are also displayed at the stand. The website is a good source of information for anyone interested in global development issues and Finland’s development cooperation.

Visitors to the Foreign Ministry’s stand can also browse the Government Report on Development Policy released this spring and can vote as to what they personally consider the most important development policy priority. In addition, visitors have the opportunity, as usual, to participate in a questionnaire and get a bag.

The Foreign Ministry is one of the main sponsors of the World Village Festival. The main theme of the event this year is Justice and the regional focus is on Asia. The World Village Festival is organised by Kepa, an umbrella organisation for development cooperation organisations.

Hanna Päivärinta

The writer works as a communications officer at the Department for Communications of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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