Administrative Court partially overturned reclamation of Ministry for Foreign Affairs' development cooperation funding to Zambia National Farmers’ Union
The Zambia National Farmers’ Union appealed to the Administrative Court of Helsinki against the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ decision to reclaim development cooperation funding from the Union related to a case of suspected misuse dating from in 2015. The Administrative Court’s ruling overrules the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ reclamation decision partially.
Twinning activities extended to new countries: Finland’s success in winning tenders continues, with Zambia as new beneficiary
Early this year, Twinning activities were extended to seven new countries under the three-year pilot of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). The results of the calls for proposals for the first two pilot projects have already been published, and Finland is very proud to have been awarded both projects. Finland will now help Zambia enhance anti-corruption measures and audits of central government finances. Winning these two tenders is a fine complement to Finland’s recent successes in Twinning projects.
Business travel during COVID-19: topical information about entry restrictions on the websites of Finnish missions abroad
To support people travelling on essential business during the coronavirus pandemic, Finnish missions abroad keep their websites updated on local travel restrictions. Rules and guidance in different countries can change rapidly, which is why the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises people travelling on business to always check the official website of the country of destination, to consider whether the trip is essential, and to act responsibly.
Advance voting in Zambia in Finland's municipal elections 2021
The municipal elections will be held on Sunday 13 June 2021. Advance voting will be possible abroad from 2 to 5 June 2021. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for the organisation of advance voting abroad. Eligible voters are requested to order the postal voting documents also in the case that they are planning to cast their vote abroad during the actual advance voting period. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that voting cannot be organised in the advance polling stations as planned because local authorities may impose restrictions or lockdowns at short notice.
Finland’s Africa strategy – Towards stronger political and economic partnership
The Finnish Government has approved Finland's Africa strategy on 18 March 2021. It will be used to diversify and deepen Finland’s relations with African countries, the African Union (AU) and regional organisations, with focus on political and economic relations.
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.
Changes to travel recommendations: avoid all travel to Brazil, India and South Africa
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs urges to avoid all travel to the Brazil, India and South Africa in accordance with the recommendation of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. For all other countries, the Foreign Ministry’s general travel advice due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid all but essential travel.
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