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Press Releases, 9/11/2017 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Mykkänen: The Commission too must contribute to countering Trump’s cuts to sexual health funding

Press release 154/2017
11 September 2017

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen will attend an informal meeting of ministers for development in Tallinn on 11 September.

Finland, together with several other EU Member States, urges the European Commission to contribute to filling the funding gap created by the US decision to cut development aid to organisations promoting women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Minister Mykkänen will again raise the issue in the informal meeting of EU development ministers in Tallinn on 11 September.

“It is both morally right and economically sensible to invest in the sexual health and rights of women and girls. That is why Finland and several other countries have pledged to donate an additional EUR 180 million to this work. Now the European Commission, too, must do its share in addressing the funding gap, as it did the last time the US cut their aid,” Mykkänen says.

On Finland’s initiate, a group of EU Member States has written about the issue to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.

The topics on the actual agenda of the informal meeting of development ministers include promoting the use of digital solutions and technologies in development cooperation, which is one of the main priorities of the Estonian Presidency in development policy. Finland wants the EU to promote access to digital technologies for the poorest and most marginalised groups and advance the participation of women and girls in the digital economy. During lunch the ministers for development will discuss new partnerships with middle income countries that no longer receive traditional development aid. The ministers will also discuss the operationalisation of the humanitarian-development nexus and the establishment of the European Fund for Sustainable Development. Finland’s representatives at the meeting will be Minister Mykkänen and Under-Secretary of State Elina Kalkku.

In Tallinn, the Minister will also attend a business event at the Finnish Embassy and hold bilateral discussions with the Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo. Minister Palo and Minister Mykkänen will exchange views on the economic cooperation between Finland and Estonia and on the state of global free trade.

pdfThe letter to Mr. Commissioner Never Mimica

Inquiries: Tuuli-Maaria Aalto, Diplomatic Advisor to Minister Mykkänen, tel. +358 40 352 0463 and Sari Lehtiranta, Director, tel. +358 295 352 139.

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Updated 9/12/2017

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