Suomen ulkopolitiikan asiakirja-arkisto ja kronologia
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Ministeri Virolaisen puhe ihmisoikeuksista

Ulkomaankauppa- ja kehitysministeri Anne-Mari Virolaisen puhe ihmisoikeuksista ja kehityksestä Maailmanpankkiryhmän epämuodollisessa ministerikokouksessa 12. lokakuuta 2018.

Finland is very pleased to host this meeting together with Norway. Finland is one of the founding donors of the Nordic Trust Fund (NTF), and we have actively promoted the Human Rights agenda in the World Bank – both through the NTF, as well as ininteractions at other levels. We had the pleasure of hosting the evaluation debriefing of the NTF in Helsinki early this year, discussing the results of the last phase, as well as the way forward. We strongly support the establishment of the new Human Rights and Development Trust Fund, which should be focused, ambitious and strategic.

Finland has a strong foreign policy commitment to human rights, and we have adopted a human rights based approach to development. This includes promoting the approach in our work in the United Nations system and World Bank Group, as well as in all bilateral development cooperation.

Aligned with these efforts, we are happy to witness a significant shift towards rights based development globally, through the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. With "leaving no one behind” as the overarching principle, the Agenda 2030 is firmly anchored in human rights, and entails a powerful commitment to equality and non-discrimination. In order to achieve development that is fair, inclusive, sustainable – and, economically viable – we must ensure compliance of development efforts with States’ international human rights obligations. In effect, to achieve the World Bank’s Twin Goals, also the Bank’s work needs to be informed by a human rights based approach, keeping the needs and interests of the most vulnerable –indigenous peoples, persons living with disabilities and LGBTI persons – at the heart of development processes.

Certainly, we face many challenges. We live in a world where 700 million people live in extreme poverty, coexisting with extreme wealth; where more than a third of the world’s population is without access to adequate sanitation; where a vast part of women’s and girls’rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights, are not fully respected. We also see increased numbers of people requiring humanitarian assistance, discrimination of minorities, shrinking of civil society space and attacks and reprisals on human rights defenders.

Against this background, efforts by actors like the World Bank, with its enormous reach and innovative strategies and interventions, are required more than ever. Indeed, the new Human Rights and Development Trust Fund carries tremendous potential to accelerate the results and impact already achieved under the NTF.

Yet, the new Fund alone will not in itself bring adequate progress on human rights. Achieving systemic change will require that the World Bank’s policies and operational practices, including the Environmental and Social Framework, are built on, recognize and implement a commitment to human rights. This will require management and leadership involvement from all parts of the Bank.

Finland appreciates the discussion today and believes that the new Human Rights and Development Trust Fund will yield important results not only within the World Bank but, crucially, at the country level, too. We thank the Nordic Trust Fund for its significant efforts to date, and look forward with excitement to the new Human Rights and Development Trust Fund.

Once again, warmly welcome to you all. Allow me now to give the floor to Minister Astrup of Norway, co-host of this event. Thank you.

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