Press Release: Nordic Ministers for Development Cooperation to Helsinki - Towards Closer Cooperation

Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto has invited his Nordic colleagues to Helsinki on 13–14 March. The purpose of the meeting is to enhance Nordic cooperation on development policy issues. The participants in the meetings will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson (Iceland), Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen (Denmark), and State Secretaries Tanja Rasmusson (Sweden) and Hans Brattskar (Norway).

The Ministers will discuss how they could cooperate to raise issues important to the Nordic Countries among the UN post-2015 global development goals, and how this work will be financed in the future.

'The aim is to agree on concrete measures by which we can ensure that the new development goals take sufficient account of, for example, human rights, education and equality,' Minister Haavisto says.

Another topic on the meeting agenda are fragile states. Minister for International Development Haavisto acts currently as co-chair of the network promoting the development of fragile states (International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, IDPS).

"The Nordic Countries are very active in fragile states like Somalia, Afghanistan and South Sudan, and they have already offered their support to Finland with respect to the chairmanship. It is therefore necessary to consider how we could enhance our cooperation in concrete terms – and how we could, for example, harness the competence and regional knowledge of people living in diaspora in our countries into this work," Haavisto points out.

In addition, the guests will get acquainted with a Swedish-speaking upper secondary school, Gymnasiet Lärkan, in Helsinki, and participate in a debate about the future of the UN Millennium Development Goals, to be held in the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre.

The keynote speaker at the event to be held on Friday 14 March will be High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Gyan Acharya. The seminar will be chaired by Finn Tarp, Director of the World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER). On the day before the actual meeting, Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto will host a dinner, to be attended also by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

Press release 56/2014

Ministry for Foreign Affairs