Support for Myanmar to be reassessed
Together with the European Union, Finland has firmly condemned the military coup in Myanmar against its civilian government and urged restoration of the civilian government. The military authorities are demanded respect for human rights, the rule of law, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression, including peaceful protests. The armed forces’ violence against protesters is strongly condemnable.
The EU is preparing targeted sanctions against the military authorities of Myanmar. Finland supports sanctions as part of efforts to exert influence on the military leadership behind the coup.
“The sanctions should be carefully targeted to avoid causing further suffering for the civilian population. Finland is concerned about the possibility of setbacks in human development in Myanmar,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Finland is currently reviewing the preconditions of continuing development cooperation in Myanmar in order to make sure that the results of our long-term work there will not be destroyed. Until now, Finland has committed to supporting Myanmar’s peace process, strengthening gender equality, developing the education sector, and promoting sustainable management of natural resources especially in the forest sector.
The political situation is uncertain and unpredictable, and both the Finnish Embassy in Yangon and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki are following developments in Myanmar carefully.
It is clear that we will not continue to channel funding for development cooperation to a state budget administered by the armed forces nor to the administration in power during the state of emergency. Finland has suspended funding to cooperation with the administration, and disbursements to cooperation partners have not been made after the coup.
“Finland has supported democracy development in Myanmar respecting the principles of sustainable development and collaborating with reliable partners. If working conditions in the country will allow the organisations to stay, it is possible that development cooperation can continue. The cooperation will continue provided that the results of our work will benefit the people of Myanmar,” says Minister Skinnari.
Finland will discuss with the EU, the other Nordic countries, international organisations and other donors to reach agreement on a common policy and shared principles.
Myanmar has been one of Finland’s partner countries since 2012. In recent years, Finland’s development cooperation in Myanmar, guided by the priorities set out in the Country Strategy, has been approximately EUR 16 million a year. Additionally, support has been channelled through humanitarian assistance, the EU, civil society organisations, higher education institutions, development finance institutions, and financial instruments used in the private sector.
Veikko Kiljunen, Director of the Unit for South Asia, tel. +358 40 351 9526 and Marianne Rönkä, Desk Officer, tel. +358 50 4366 518.
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]