Foreign Minister Valtonen to attend UN Human Rights Council session and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva

Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen will visit Geneva, Switzerland, on 26 February. She will deliver Finland’s address to a High-Level Segment of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council.

The Human Rights Council is the UN’s most important intergovernmental body protecting and promoting human rights. “The UN Human Rights Council has an important mandate to ensure that human rights are respected around the world. Human rights belong to everyone. When people are free, they choose a society where everyone is equally free. It is a sustainable foundation for peace,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Valtonen.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, Finland systematically promotes the rights of women and girls, gender equality, the rights of persons and groups in vulnerable situations, and the implementation of accountability. Supporting the independence of free civil society, human rights defenders and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is an essential part of Finland’s membership in the Human Rights Council. Finland’s three-year term began on 1 December 2022 and ends on 31 December 2024.

In Geneva, Foreign Minister Valtonen will also attend a High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament and deliver Finland’s address. In addition, Minister Valtonen will attend a high-level side event organised by Finland, which will highlight the work of human rights defenders fighting for democracy and civil society freedom. Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will also attend the event.

Foreign Minister Valtonen will have bilateral meetings with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Geneva. She will also meet foreign ministers from other countries and leaders of international organisations. The topics in Geneva will include the situation in the Middle East and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is now entering its third year and which Finland condemns in the strongest terms. These are among the issues that the Council is expected to take a stand on during its six-week spring session taking place from 26 February to 5 April.

Read more:


  • Laila Clyne, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 492
  • Ann-Mari Fröberg, Team Leader, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 896
  • Suvi Tuominen, Counsellor, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 735
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].