The exceptional circumstances of 2020 showed in consular assistance
In 2020, the Unit for Consular Assistance provided nearly twice as much guidance compared to the previous year. In the spring, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, personal guidance and advice were given to tens of thousands of travellers stranded abroad. Thousands of travellers were assisted in returning to Finland after air traffic ground to a sudden halt.
Finland seeks membership of UN Human Rights Council
Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2022–2024. The campaign slogan: ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”, underscores the universal nature of human rights. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021.
Limited reception of residence permit applications to resume in Finnish missions abroad
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finland suspended the reception of ordinary visa and residence permit applications starting on 19 March 2020. The reception of ordinary visa applications continues to be suspended but activities relating to residence permit applications were gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.
Finland suspends the reception and processing of ordinary visa and residence permit applications in the missions
Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, Finland, in line with the rest of the Schengen countries, has suspended the reception of normal visa applications in Finland’s missions with immediate effect from 19 March until further notice.
Finland intensifies its efforts to stop Ebola
Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja has appointed Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen as the Minister’s special representative for the work against Ebola. She starts in her new post immediately. Jortikka-Laitinen has previously served, for instance, as the Ambassador of Finland in Tunisia and as Ambassador in the Dialogue among Civilizations process.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Timmermans
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Frans Timmermans will visit Finland on 14 March and have official discussions with Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. The Ministers will discuss international and European issues of current interest, such as Syria, Iran, the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, EU expansion, Russia and the future of diplomacy.
Foreign Minister Stubb to participate in the International Conference on Afghanistan in The Hague
Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan: a Comprehensive Strategy in a Regional Context, to take place in The Hague on Tuesday, 31 March. This conference is a continuation in the series of conferences, held in Bonn, London and Paris since 2002, where the international community has reaffirmed its comprehensive and long-term commitment to Afghanistan.