On 13 June 2014 in Helsinki, Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Mr Pekka Haavisto, Minister for International Development of Finland, jointly signed an agreement, according to which Finland will provide 2.4 million euros for UNESCO’s activities relating to the Capacity-Building for Education for All (CapEFA) and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Under the agreement, the donor’s contribution will be used for projects aimed to promote gender equality, girls’ education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and freedom of expression during the period of 2014-2015.
“I welcome and deeply appreciate Finland’s strong commitment to the global development agenda,” said the Director-General during the signing ceremony. “Finland’s donor support to the CapEFA has been significant over the past years and I welcome its on-going commitment to our key objectives to improve the quality of education, to increase educational opportunities for young girls and to enhance teacher training processes in many developing societies”.
“Press freedom is fundamental for promoting human rights and for building democratic societies,” continued Ms Bokova. “Finland’s contribution to the development of communication has been critical and it has enabled UNESCO to implement many successful activities relating to the training of journalists, the elaboration of journalism curriculum and to the protection and safety of journalists”.
Minister Haavisto recalled the key role of education in the national development processes. He emphasized that education must be duly recognized in the post-2015 development agenda. He went on to affirm that Finland was keen to support girls’ education and TVET, as well as press freedom in those countries where UNESCO’s assistance could be most needed, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Finland is committed to continue cooperating with UNESCO in addressing these priorities”, said the Minister.