UN follow-up Forum on Sustainable Development - Finland to focus on Arctic cooperation

Ministry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of the Environment
Publication date 6.7.2018 15.45
Press release

The UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) will convene in New York from 9 to 18 July 2018. The annual forum reviews progress in attaining the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (2030 Agenda) that were adopted in 2015. Finland’s focus will be on sustainable development of the Arctic region.

“Finland acts currently as chair of the Arctic Council. Arctic cooperation and international agreements have been successful in decreasing the presence of certain harmful chemicals in the area. However, it is necessary to cooperate even more closely to preserve the Arctic region’s unique nature and culture as the growing consumption of natural resources means more pressure on the region,” says Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing and head of the Finnish delegation.
This year, the HLPF's theme is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". Priority will be given to the goals related to water, energy, cities, consumption, production and soil ecosystems as these have significant interrelationships: for example, sustainable urbanisation and well-functioning water supply and sanitation contribute to improved educational level, status and rights of women and girls.
“The SDGs can also be mutually contradictory; actions to improve food production in areas with very little water may aggravate the shortage of water if the activities do not include improved use of water. Water also plays a key role in attaining, for example, health-related goals. Almost 350 000 children under five years of age die every year of diarrhoea and other diseases that are spread by polluted water,“ says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Finland is at the leading edge in implementing the sustainable development policy and administration and in carrying out broad-based cooperation with companies, organisations and citizens.
“Finland has pioneered in the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda goals. Commitment to sustainable development is a unique tool that has brought together different actors to make their own commitments for a sustainable world and Finland. What has been particularly significant within the state administration is that the SDGs have been incorporated into the budgeting, planning and reporting of the government financial administration,” says Minister Tiilikainen.
Finland will host four side events during the Forum in New York: Arctic cooperation will be discussed on Tuesday 17 July. On Monday 9 July, Finland and Vietnam will co-host an event on water supply risk management, and on Thursday 12 July an event on frontier water cooperation will be organised in cooperation with UNECE, UNESCO and Senegal. On Friday 13 July, Finland and Tanzania will co-host an event on forests together. Forest-related issues will be addressed also on 8 July during an advance event.
In addition to officials from the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Metsähallitus, the following will be represented in the Finnish delegation: the UN Association of Finland, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), WWF, Finnish NGDO Platform Kehys,  Aalto University, Green Building Council, Agenda2030 Youth delegation, Pöyry, UPM and Paulig. The event can be followed on Twitter by using hashtag  #HLPFSuomi.

Web page of HLPF 2018
Taru Savolainen, Special Adviser to Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen, tel. + 358 40 535 8622, [email protected]

Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 400 291 910
[email protected]

Kaarina Airas, First Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 029, [email protected]

EU and international affairs Kimmo Tiilikainen