Press Releases, 1/4/2012
Foreign Minister Tuomioja to visit Nigeria and South Africa
Press release 1/2012
3 January 2012
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja is set to visit Nigeria and South Africa on January 5-10. The purpose of the visit is to foster links and cooperation with these two countries that have considerable political and economic strength, to lobby for support for Finnish aspirations to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2013-2014, and to participate in the African National Congress (ANC) centenary celebrations.
During his tour Foreign Minister Tuomioja will meet with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Discussions will focus on bilateral relations, European-African cooperation as well as issues of topical importance. Nigeria and South Africa are among the most influential countries on the continent, not just regionally but internationally. South Africa is a member of the G20 group and an important emerging economy, a so-called BRICS nation. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and a leading force in the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS. Both countries were non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2011, and the agenda for discussion will include Nigerian and South African contributions to and experiences of Security Council work, the Finnish candidacy to the Security Council and key issues of international peace and security.
The ANC’s centenary marks a significant milestone in the history of African liberation and the overthrow of apartheid. The celebrations will be attended by numerous African heads of state and government representatives. Representatives of Finnish NGOs have also been invited.
Further information: Heikki Tuunanen, Deputy Director General, tel. +358 9 1605 6366, and Veikko Kiljunen, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 351 9526