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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Message from the Ambassador - Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN : Permanent Mission

United Nations, New York

Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 222,
New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A
Tel. +1-212-355 2100,
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Message from the Ambassador

Welcome to the website of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations!

Finland has been an active member of the United Nations since 1955. Since the beginning of our membership we have emphasized the role of the UN as the central arena for multilateral cooperation.

Sls Viinanen ja TP Niinistö 2012. Kuva: P-L HeikkiläAmbassador Jarmo Viinanen and President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö in New York in September 2012. Photo: Pirjo-Liisa Heikkilä

During the first decades of its membership Finland underscored its policy of neutrality. As President Kekkonen put it, we regarded ourselves as a doctor rather than a judge. In practice this often meant abstaining in questions that split the UN membership along the dividing lines of the Cold War.

After the Cold War, the scope of our activities has increased noticeably. Most visibly, this has meant a more active human rights policy. The active promotion of development and peace and security are the other cornerstones of our policy at the UN.

Finland’s membership in the European Union brings a fundamentally important additional dimension to our work at the UN. The EU is now our main channel of influence, although traditional cooperation between the Nordic countries also remains important. The purpose of the Lisbon Treaty, adopted in December 2009, is to further increase the coherence of EU’s common foreign and security policy. This increases our influence, but at the same time it poses challenges to our national foreign policy. We also want to maintain our strong national profile in the future. Responding to this challenge requires continuous adaptations in the way we work.

The UN Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council may be considered the most important principal organ of the UN. Finland has served as a member of the Security Council twice: in 1969–70 and 1989–90. We are now running for a third term in 2013–14. As members of the Council we want to shoulder our share of the responsibility for international peace and security. Our solid foreign policy and strong contribution to peacekeeping and peace mediation form a good basis for achieving this.

The Permanent Mission is one of Finland’s largest embassies abroad. Our staff works hard every day to promote Finland’s interests and to attain the goals of its foreign policy. In practice the work entails attending and reporting on a host of meetings on diverse topics on the agenda of the UN. It also requires influencing colleagues from other member states in more informal settings. From the point of view of the Permanent Representative it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve as the head of a staff consisting of such skillful and diligent Finns.

Finland has always been a staunch supporter of international cooperation. Active participation in the work of the United Nations is one of the foundations of this policy.

Jarmo Viinanen
Permanent Representative of Finland
to the United Nations

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Updated 10/12/2012

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