The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will mark the 60th anniversary of Finland's membership of the UN at Finlandia Hall on Wednesday 9 December. The main keynote speech at the event will be held by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
"It is great that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will pay a visit to Helsinki from the Paris Climate Change negotiations," Foreign Minister Timo Soini says. "This is a significant acknowledgement of Finland's activities in the UN."
The 60th anniversary celebrations will look at the history and future of Finland's UN membership. The participants will consider the UN's importance for Finland and Finland's influence in the UN. Recent cases in which Finnish expertise and innovations have been used in the UN will be also discussed.
In addition to the Secretary-General, President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will speak at the event. Minister Elisabeth Rehn will present the Secretary-General. Other speakers will be Paula Vanninen, Director of VERIFIN, the Finnish National Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Authority, Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director of UNICEF Finland, and Pekka Kariniemi, Chair of the Board of Directors of Biolan. UN Youth of Finland and schoolchildren will also tell about their future expectations.
Music will be performed by Tapiola Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jorma Panula, Ninni Poijärvi & Ali Alawad, and by Signmark, a rap artist and the Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative to promote the rights of people with disability. The event will be hosted by Rita Strömmer, the journalist.
The ceremonies will be attended by about 1,400 guests.
This year will mark Finland's 60th anniversary in the UN. Finland was admitted to UN membership on 14 December 1955. Finland submitted its membership application as early as in 1947. The UN has retained its position as the cornerstone of Finland's foreign policy. Recently, Finland has asserted itself especially throught mediation and the promotion of women's rights.
Researcher Richard Gowan also assesses Finland's history in the UN in his article "Finland and the United Nations: In Defense of the National Interest", which will be published today.