Uutinen 23.5.2011

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen to attend the Foreign Affairs Council meeting for Development Ministers in Brussels

Press release 152/2011

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen will attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council Meeting of Development Ministers to be held in Brussels on 24 May. The main issues on the agenda are Sudan, the Commission’s annual report on development financing and water issues.

The Development Ministers will discuss the situation in South Sudan, focusing especially on the joint programming of the development cooperation planned for the country by the EU and Member States. The aim of the joint programming is to chart the areas of cooperation where the EU and its Member States have the best chances to promote development in South Sudan. Finland supports an active role for the European External Action Service in steering the process. Finland is prepared to channel its potential future support through joint financing mechanisms.

The Development Ministers will exchange views on the Commission’s report on development financing, compiled annually. On the basis of the report, the Heads of State or Government assembling for the European Council meeting of 24 June will be informed of the progress made by the EU and the Member States towards the development financing objectives for the year 2015. Finland is one of nine EU Member States that reached the interim target for 2010; the country is committed to attaining the goal of allocating 0.7 per cent of the GNI to development aid by the year 2015.

The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the initiative presented by the EU Presidency country, Hungary, on incorporating water issues more comprehensively in EU development policy. Finland and other EU Member States have taken a positive view of Hungary’s initiative.

Additional information: Petri Neittaanmäki, Senior Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, mobile tel. +358 40 553 8245, and Counsellor Sini Paukkunen, Unit for General Development Policy and Planning, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 6272