November 19, 2018

Different yet like-minded

By H.E. Mrs. Päivi Kaukoranta, Ambassador of Finland.

I have assumed recently, in the beginning of October, my functions as the Ambassador of Finland to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. My responsibilities cover also the International Criminal Court and other Hague based institutions. It has been a flying start with a wealth of most interesting meetings and discussions.

With a background in international law, last nine years as Director General for Legal Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, I am most happy to get an opportunity to serve my country in The Hague, in the legal capital of the World.

My home country, Finland is a country with a population of 5,5 million contrary to the 17,1 million inhabitants of my new host country, the Netherlands. There are 18,1 inhabitants per square kilometer in Finland – in the Netherlands the density of population is 507 inhabitants per square kilometer. 75 % ofthe land area of Finland, which is about three times the land area of the Netherlands, is covered by forests.

The King of the Netherlands and H.E. Mr. Päivi Kaukoranta. Fotogeniek / Jeroen van der Meyde.

 

Despite of thesedifferences the Netherlands is for Finland a very close and like-minded partner in the European Union and more generally in international cooperation. The foreign policy of our two governments is practical and solution-oriented with its foundation on basic values.The Netherlands is also for us a benchmarking country for example when it comes to socio-political solutions and social innovations. With some essence of truth, we may call the Netherlands the most southern Nordic country.The Netherlands ranks as third in export from Finland and fifth as an import country. Our trade and economic relations are close even if the high volume of transit trade through the port of Rotterdam explains part of it. Maintaining and enhancing these good relations at all levels will naturally be high on the agenda of our Embassy.

In the city of peace and justiceour tasks extend also to the established international institutions as well as to the more recent ones. International Criminal Court, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and other international and European institutions will deserve our constructive contribution – not least now when multilateral cooperation encounters particular challenges.

Finland will hold the Presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2019. Our small but   efficient team at the Embassy will do its utmost to manage the tasks of the local Presidency.

The Finnish expatriate community in the Netherlands amounts to ca. 5000 people. The Dutch-Finnish Society, Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce and Finnish Seamen’s Mission are trusted partners of the Embassy of Finland.

The few weeks experience in The Hague has already been a testimony of the good reputation thereof – the host country, organisations and fellow diplomats have guaranteed a warm welcome to a newcomer. I am looking forward to continued good cooperation with all of you!

 

 

 

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