The new Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Stenlund, visited Geneva on 5th March 2014. He addressed on behalf of Finland the High Level Segments of both the Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament.
In his speech at the Human Rights Council Secretary of State Stenlund discussed the situations in Ukraine and Syria. He stressed Finland's commitment to respecting and strengthening international system of Human Rights, human rights based approach to development issues, and promotion of women's rights. Secretary of State Stenlund also participated in Finland's side event on inclusive education, with the rights of persons with disabilities as a special focus.
Secretary of State Stenlund expressed Finland's concern over the events in Ukraine also at the Conference on Disarmament. He emphasized Finland's commitment to nuclear disarmament and the relevant treaties, especially the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Secretary of State stressed the importance of limitations on especially strategic nuclear weapons. Stenlund saw the Arms Trade Treaty, negotiated in 2013, as a significant step, and declared Finland's readiness to ratify the Treaty in the beginning of April. He saw the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles of Syria as an important international operation where Finland is participating in various means, including the Ekokem laboratories, which will dispose some of the dangerous chemicals.
The Secretary of State 's full statements are available on the Ministry for Foreign Affair's website: