Press Releases, 2/17/2012
Finland revises its course of action on development policy
Press release 34/2012
16 February 2012
The Government adopted today, on 16 February, the new Finnish Development Policy Action Plan. The action plan reforms the Finnish development policy and cooperation to meet the needs of the changed world and the future, and help countries detach themselves from aid dependency. Development policy has become more and more distinctively global cooperation, where various types of new actors are yielding influence as well. For Finland, the key objective is wide-ranging and value-based cooperation that ensures meeting the needs of the weakest.
“In the operation, increasing attention will be paid to human rights and support for the use of each developing country’s own resources for development purposes. At the same time, we will redirect our own work efforts in accordance with the needs of developing countries, global division of duties, and Finnish competencies and strengths,” Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala states.
The primary goal of Finnish development policy is still eradication of extreme poverty in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals. In addition, Finland will promote strengthening of the status of the poor and reduction of inequality. Development policy and cooperation also contribute to finding solutions to other global challenges, such as unsustainable use of natural resources and climate change.
The priorities in the activity include democratic and responsible society promoting human rights; green economy that empowers people and provides employment; sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection; and humane development. Three overarching themes will be observed in all activities: promotion of gender equality and climate sustainability, and reduction of inequality.
“In development, the basic issues are ultimately very mundane such as improving people’s ability to read and write, and enhancing health, education, employment and security. It is also important that development cooperation practiced by Finland and its results are open to outside evaluation both in Finland and in developing countries,” Minister Hautala says.
In the future, the key partner countries for Finland are Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Zambia and Tanzania. Vietnam is also included among these, but gradually Finland will adopt new forms of cooperation with the country. In Nicaragua, the future focus will be, for example, on cooperation with NGOs. In addition, Finland commits itself to long-term cooperation with Afghanistan. Support to NGOs and contribution to multilateral cooperation will be increased in accordance with the Government Programme. The forms of cooperation within the private sector will also be developed to support the range of tools available for development policy.
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