Finland’s Foreign Ministry has reported on its participation in the World Village Festival to be held in Helsinki during the weekend 28–29 May. In connection to a discussion on Finland’s support and the various forms of cooperation in Asia, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka talked about the importance of Finland’s support to partner countries in Asia – and to Finns.
The minister took part in an interview session interviews Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka, Director General Kimmo Lähdevirta of the Department for the Americas and Asia, and the well-known rap artist Signmark, the Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative to promote the rights of people with disability.
Topics for discussion included the revised priorities of Finland’s development policy and the new forms of cooperation between Finland and Vietnam following on development cooperation.
Director General Kimmo Lähdevirta served as Finland’s Ambassador to Vietnam until last autumn, so he is very familiar with the country’s recent development and opportunities for Finnish companies. Minister Toivakka, in turn, participated in the Team Finland visit to Vietnam in March, when she met extensively with local authorities as well as with representatives of companies and universities.
As the Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative, in his meetings Signmark has sought to promote the position of persons with disability in various parts of the world. Last autum Signmark visited Nepal, where he met students and staff members at a school for the deaf.
After the discussion Signmark performed on the Mekong Stage.
The Foreign Ministry’s stand at Railway Square presents the Finnish development cooperation and the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action approved by the UN last autumn.
Visitors to the Foreign Ministry’s stand could also browse the Government Report on Development Policy released in the spring of 2016 and could vote as to what they personally consider the most important development policy priority. In addition, visitors had the opportunity, as usual, to participate in a questionnaire and get a bag.
The Foreign Ministry is one of the main sponsors of the World Village Festival. The main theme of the event this year was Justice and the regional focus is on Asia. The World Village Festival is organised by Kepa, an umbrella organisation for development cooperation organisations.
Source: Hanna Päivärinta, communications officer at the Department for Communications of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.