European Interest

New government must strengthen Finland’s global responsibility and impact, says Development Policy Committee

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Finland’s new government must promote global sustainable development and strengthen Finland’s positive handprint abroad. In this way, we can also safeguard Finland’s own security in the long term. This is the Development Policy Committee’s key message to the government-formation negotiators in 2023.

The Development Policy Committee (DPC) is the only body that conducts systematic and broad-based monitoring and analysis of Finnish development cooperation and development policy.

Development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and development policy that crosses administrative boundaries as well as responsible business and investments are key elements of Finland’s global responsibility and impact. They play a central role in Finland’s foreign and security policy and in our international efforts to promote sustainable development. Democracy, the rule of law, gender equality and non-discrimination are core values in this, stressed DPC.

The Development Policy Committee reminds the government-formation negotiators that unsustainable development abroad is a significant threat to the wellbeing of people and nature and to security in Finland, too. That is why development policy has a special mission to promote global sustainable development and to reduce poverty and inequality.

“Our approach is to maintain and improve existing practices and policies that enjoy wide support in Parliament and in society. We hope that Finland’s next Government will be building a bridge across government terms that enables Finland to reach these objectives,” says Inka Hopsu, Chair of the Development Policy Committee.

The Development Policy Committee argues that the next Government Programme must be based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda to which Finland is committed. Development policy and development cooperation are essential elements of funding for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda sets the target level for development cooperation funding at 0.7 per cent of gross national income.

The Committee maintains that Finland must continue to focus its development cooperation funding and other efforts on the development policy priorities that span parliamentary terms. These priorities have been prepared in a parliamentary process. They include the rights of women and girls, training and education, sustainable economy and decent work, peaceful democratic societies and climate change (mitigation and adaptation), biodiversity, and sustainable use of natural resources. The global food crisis underlines the importance of working for food security.

Any decision on development cooperation funding must take into account that the most suitable form of funding, i.e. grant-based funding or development policy loans and investments, depend on the objectives and the operating environment of development cooperation. In addition, funding is increasingly used to meet the obligations of international environmental agreements and to respond to humanitarian needs that are record high at the moment. Development cooperation funding also accounts for a significant share of Finland’s support to Ukraine.

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