History of the Permanent Mission of Finland in Geneva

Finland established a diplomatic mission to Geneva in 1926 to attend to both the relations between Finland and Switzerland and Finland's representation in the League of Nations, which had been established in Geneva. With the eruption of the Second World War, the operation of the League of Nations stagnated and, in 1940, the Finnish mission was changed into a legation and transferred to Bern, the federal capital of Switzerland. The United Nations was founded after the end of the war and the headquarters of some of its agencies were based in Geneva, which is why Finland reopened its permanent mission in Geneva in 1949. Later on, the mission's fields of responsibility have expanded as new organizations have set up their functions in Geneva.

The first Heads of the Finnish Mission to Geneva were Mr Rafael Erich (1926-1927) and Mr Rudolf Holsti (1927-1940), two eminent persons in the international politics of their own time. During their public careers, both Erich and Holsti were also ministers in the Finnish government. When the mission was reopened in 1949, Mr Viljo Jaakko Ahokas was appointed the first Permanent Representative.

He was followed by Mr Leo Tuominen (1950-1952), Mr Olli Vallila (1952-1954), Mr Paavo Pulkkinen (1954-1955), Mr Torsten Tikanvaara (1955-1959), Mr Kaarlo Mäkelä (1959-1961), Mr Olli Kaila (1961-1962), Mr Reino Honkaranta (1962-1965), Mr Pentti Talvitie (1965-1970), Mr Klaus A. Sahlgren (1970-1975), Mr Paavo Kaarlehto (1975-1981), Mr Paavo Rantanen (1981-1986), Mr Olli Mennander (1986-1990), Mr Antti Hynninen (1990-1995), Mr Björn Ekblom (1995-1998), Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi (1998-2003), Mr Markku Reimaa (Ambassador to the CD 1997-2005), Mr Vesa Himanen (2003-2008), Mr Hannu Himanen (2008-2012), Ms Päivi Kairamo (2012-2016), Ms Terhi Hakala (2016-2020) and Ms Kirsti Kauppi (2020-2023).

Ambassador Ms Heidi Schroderus-Fox has served as the Permanent Representative of Finland in Geneva since October 2023.