Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Virolainen to the high-level week of the UN General Assembly

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During the high-level week Minister Soini will stress the need for further development of peace mediation and peace operations. In particular, Finland wishes to strengthen the role of women and the young in peace processes. On Minister Virolainen’s agenda the focus is on sustainable development, climate change and equality.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen will participate in the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Finland’s delegation will be led by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, who will deliver Finland’s address at the General Assembly on Tuesday 25 September.

The key objectives in Finland’s UN policy are to defend the rules-based system and reform the UN, as well as conflict prevention and peace mediation and strengthening the rights of women and girls.

During the high-level week Minister Soini will stress the need for further development of peace mediation and peace operations. In peace mediation Finland wants, in particular, to strengthen the involvement of women and the young in peace processes. On Minister Virolainen’s agenda the focus is on sustainable development, climate change and equality. On several occasions Virolainen will also stress the role of the private sector in sustainable development.

During the UN week Minister for Foreign Affairs Soini will host a meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation to discuss ways to promote the involvement of young people in conflict prevention and peace mediation. Together with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, Indonesia and Rwanda, Minister Soini will host a dinner with the development of peace operations as the main theme. The Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation Jutta Urpilainen will also participate in the UN high-level week.

On Monday 24 September, Minister Soini will deliver Finland’s address at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. In his address he will stress the importance of conflict prevention and comprehensive security.

Also on Minister Soini’s agenda are events concerning Syria and the situation in Near East in general. He will attend the meeting of the Group of Friends of the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty) and a dinner to discuss transatlantic relations, hosted by US Foreign Secretary Pompeo. Minister Soini will have bilateral meetings with e.g. the ministers of Ukraine, Morocco and Senegal.

During the high-level week Minister Virolainen, together with Tanzania, Costa Rica, Executive Director of UN Women and e.g. Green Climate Fund, will host an event on climate change adaptation, empowerment of women and sustainable management of natural resources. The purpose of the event is to stress the importance of taking equality issues into account when trying to resolve the impacts of climate change on finding sustainable ways to earn a living.

Promoting the rights of women and girls and sexual and reproductive health and rights are key issues in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda, which is why it is one of the main themes of the high-level week.

Together with the UNPD Executive Director, Minister Virolainen will host an event on the role of innovations in reaching the sustainable development goals. Finland has assumed a high profile in promoting innovations in development cooperation. Among the significant new openings in this cooperation is the launch of the UN Technology and Innovation Laboratory (UNTIL) in Finland in autumn 2018.

During the week Minister Virolainen will meet Executive Directors of the key UN organizations (including UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF) and several of her counterparts, especially from the developing countries. She will also meet Finnish business representatives in a networking event at Finland’s Consulate General in New York

Inquiries about the Foreign Minister's programme: Lasse Keisalo, Director, Unit for UN and General Global Affairs, tel. +358 50 566 7451, Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser, tel. +358 46 923 4581.

Inquiries about the programme of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development: Pasi Pöysäri, Director, Unit for UN Development Affairs, tel. +358 50 309 8202, Tuuli-Maaria Aalto, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 350 633, Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 350 269

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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