Responsibilities of mission

Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen
Ambassador Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen

Finland’s Representative Office in the occupied Palestinian territory (also called “Palestine”) has two main functions.

Firstly, it represents Finland in a region that is crucially important for the stability of global politics and Europe’s closest neighbourhood. The political, economic and societal development of the Middle East is of great importance to Europe, and understanding it is vital for Finland, too. The Representative Office also maintains Finland’s broad-based bilateral relations with the Palestinian Authority.

Secondly, through the Representative Office, Finland gives concrete support to the two-state solution, which means the establishment of an independent, viable and democratic state of Palestine living side by side and in peace with the state of Israel. In this, Finland’s main instrument is development policy, which is implemented on the basis of Finland’s Country Strategy for the occupied Palestinian territory. The most central element of this strategy is Finland’s support to the development of the Palestinian education sector. Apart from the education sector, Finland supports the strengthening of resilience of Palestinians living in the most vulnerable areas (East Jerusalem, Area C and Gaza) of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Beyond these, also local EU cooperation as well as cooperation with several UN agencies form an important part of the Office’s work.