This past year has reminded us all that, while the world is diverse, the human experience is universal. We have all gone through a very difficult time of global pandemic. We have also witnessed individuals in many countries raising their voices and fighting for their universal human rights.
As we look forward to brighter times, we must work towards a world where human rights are a reality for all and where no one is left behind.
During its more than 100 years of independence, Finland has developed from a poor agrarian country into a prosperous nation. The road has not always been easy. We have achieved this by ensuring that everyone is included, and by placing human rights and equality at the forefront.
Free and high-quality education has been fundamental to Finland’s success. We need educated children and motivated teachers in order to be able to tackle global challenges such as climate change, disinformation or global pandemics.
In order to prosper, we need to include everyone - persons of all backgrounds, ages and abilities - in our joint efforts. In doing so, we must step up efforts to guarantee gender equality and the full enjoyment of all human rights by all women and girls.
We must not turn inwards. Through our human rights-based foreign and development policies, Finland is committed to promoting human rights and equality and to fighting extreme poverty globally.
The Human Rights Council plays a central role in making human rights a reality for all of us, in all countries. For this reason, we have put forward our candidacy for the Council.
To tackle any global human rights issue or challenge, we need to work together.
As a UN member state and a candidate for the Human Rights Council, Finland is strongly committed to close partnership with all stakeholders.
It is our common duty to make sure that – in this day and in the days to come - everyone can fully enjoy their universal human rights.