Press release 240/2011
20 September 2011
President of the Republic Tarja Halonen and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja attended the Friends of Libya meeting held in New York on 20 September. Convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the meeting was attended by 80 countries.
The meeting pledged strong commitment for supporting Libya as the country strives towards a stable and democratic society. The participants expressed their support for the National Transitional Council and emphasised respect for human rights and humanitarian laws. The meeting confirmed the UN’s leading role in coordinating international support.
The President of the Republic announced Finland’s readiness to take part in supporting Libya in various different ways. Finland is prepared to double her humanitarian aid to Libya, to offer forensic medical and other expert assistance to the newly established UN Support Mission in Libya and to consider input into civil crisis management, for instance by supporting civilian police training.
Finland also offers her support for the development of democracy and rule of law and for strengthening civil society and women’s rights. The support can be given through the United Nations, the European Union or bilaterally. The Government of Finland has decided to double its support directed to North Africa and the Middle East.
President Halonen gave recognition to the National Transitional Council’s commitment to strive towards national unity and creation of a broad-based political system. In particular, she stressed the crucial role of women in building a sustainable and just society for all.
Additional information: Director General Teemu Tanner, Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 826 8624