Finland reaffirms support to UNESCO programmes in Education and Freedom of Expression
Finland renewed its support to UNESCO’s flagship Capacity Development for Education programme (CapED) as well as to the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) with the signing of funding agreements totalling 2.4 million Euros today.
“I measure the importance of your gesture, and would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Finnish Government for its strong trust in the Organization,” said Director-General Audrey Azoulay during the signing ceremony with Finland’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate, H.E. Mr Pekka Puustinen.
“You can count on Finland as well as all the other Nordic countries’ support,” Ambassador Puustinen said. “Despite the cuts that occurred in 2015 in the budget for development cooperation (ODA), the Finnish Government maintained its voluntary contributions to UNESCO, and we will even do our best to increase them in the future,” he added. The Ambassador also noted that the prevention of violent extremism is “close to the heart” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and praised UNESCO’s expertise in this area, noting that Finland is using UNESCO’s materials on this theme.
Finland is one of the founding donors of the CapED Programme, launched in 2003. Since then, its contribution has amounted to $10.4 million (USD), accounting for 11% of the $91 million (USD) received by the programme to date. The funding underpins UNESCO’s direct role in supporting the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education, at the national level by providing capacity development and education system strengthening in some 25 Least Developed Countries. The programme places special focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, as well as Gender.
Finland is also playing a leading role in the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), thanks to its continued financial support, hands-on involvement as an IPDC Council member and cooperation to promote access to information through the IPDC Talks programme. Finland´s first access to information law, approved more than 250 years ago, is a model for countries seeking to ensure the highest standards for citizen access to information.