Uutinen 19.2.2010

EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Haiti and Ukraine

Press release 49/2010
19 February, 2010

The Foreign Affairs Council of the EU will meet in Brussels on 22 February. The main topics of the meeting are the humanitarian crisis in Haiti and the situation in Ukraine following the presidential election. Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will represent Finland at the meeting.

The ministers will discuss the current situation in Haiti and EU preparations for the Haiti reconstruction conference to take place in New York in March. In Finland’s view, it would be good at the conference to agree on the initial distribution of labour between the UN, the EU and international financing institutions, based on reconstruction needs assessment. The ministers will also evaluate the EU’s activities in sudden humanitarian crises on the basis of the experiences gained in Haiti. In Finland’s view, the EU aid activities proceeded well and the leading role of the UN in humanitarian assistance proved to function well.

At lunch the ministers will discuss Ukraine. The situation following the presidential election as well as the prospects for relations between the EU and Ukraine are on the agenda. The aim is to reach an accord on an Association Agreement and on a related free trade area between the EU and Ukraine during the present year. Stabilisation of Ukraine’s internal political situation and economy, reform of the country’s constitution, the continuation of reforms and Ukraine’s rapprochment with the European Union are considered important by Finland.

Iran is also on the agenda of the Council meeting. The Council will discuss Iran’s unwillingness to cooperate in the nuclear programme dispute and the country’s current internal political situation. Finland’s view is that UN Security Council sanctions should proceed rapidly, also because of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in May. Finland is deeply concerned about the continued weakening of the human rights situation in Iran and considers it important that the EU react coherently to human rights violations.

Additional information: Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, Head of the Unit for European Common Foreign and Security Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 5026 or mobile tel. +358 40 753 4364, and Mikko Hautala, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 5005 or mobile tel. +358 40 834 6758