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Press Releases, 8/21/2012

Foreign Minister Tuomioja at the Annual Meeting of Finnish Heads of Mission: Multilateralism will come to the fore in foreign policy

Press release 184/2012
20 August 2012

“Foreign policy will be made in a new kind of global environment, where multilateralism is even more essential than before,” said Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja in his speech at the Annual Meeting of Finnish Heads of Mission on 20 August. According to the Minister, the current era is shaped by the dynamics of increasing interdependency, which has influence over nearly all the dimensions of human activity, both good and bad.

Effectiveness of the actions of individuals, communities, enterprises and other non-governmental groups is growing, the Minister said. He feels that the growing status of civil society should be taken into account also in foreign policy. In Finland this is manifested in established and extensive cooperation and interaction with both the Finnish and the international civil societies.

For Finnish foreign policy, growth of interdependence translates into a more extensive field of operations. According to Tuomioja, the EU is a pivotal, yet not exclusive, operating channel for Finland. The status of the UN as the forum of joint actions in solving global crises will remain. New kinds of Nordic cooperation will be sought to underpin Finnish operations, yet it is not an option to the work within the EU or in international organisations, Tuomioja estimates.

The Minister highlighted the role of the UN in the core of multilateralism and its consolidation. “As a generator of global standards, a discussion forum and in executing or mandating activities for maintaining international security, the UN is indispensable,” he said. According to Tuomioja, the UN is a vital forum also in enforcing the global role of the EU, the very role that the EU should seize more vigorously in the UN, consistently backed up by Finland.

As Tuomioja pointed out, the EU also has optional future trajectories apart from that of decreasing influence, in spite of the prevailing crisis in Europe. Once the Union can manage joint actions and leadership, it can also yield results, he said. In addition to the Euro crisis, the EU is also experiencing a crisis of democracy, Tuomioja continued. To beat the latter, he called for open, in-depth and sincere discussion, honouring the principles of democratic preparatory work and decision-making.

As for security policy, Tuomioja said that the need for international military and civilian crisis management will continue to be significant. “Finland should continue to participate and take responsibility,” the Minister said. The themes where the Minister expects Finland to maintain an especially high profile include peace mediation, the women's status in international security issues and arms control.

Further information: Press Attaché to the Minister Susanna Parkkonen, tel. +358 50 377 5601

This document

Updated 8/21/2012

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