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Press Releases, 08/11/2017 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Finland elected to four-year membership of UNESCO Executive Board

Press release 192/2017
8 Nov. 2017

On Wednesday 8 November 2017, Finland was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The four-year term will start in November 2017. The election was conducted by the Member States of UNESCO. This was the most important UN candidacy for Finland this year. All the Nordic countries supported Finland’s candidacy.

”Winning a seat in the close ballot with the highest number of votes in its electoral group is an excellent recognition of Finland’s strong expertise in education and world heritage matters,” says Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

Minister Grahn-Laasonen, who is responsible for UNESCO matters in Finland, attended the General Conference in Paris from 1 to 3 November. The Minister of Education took part in several public and bilateral side events during the conference in order to promote Finland’s objectives.

UNESCO plays a central role in the pursuit of the global goals especially related to education, freedom of expression, and world heritage. Membership of the Executive Board provides opportunities for direct exercise of influence in the activities and objectives of the organisation from Finland’s perspective.

“Finland won an excellent position in an organisation that works to prevent radicalisation,” says Foreign Minister Timo Soini.

The other countries elected from the same regional Electoral Group were Portugal and Turkey.   

The General Conference meets every two years in ordinary session, and the 58 Member States of the Executive Board outline and direct the organisation’s activities and use of funds in between the sessions. The Executive Board also nominates a candidate for the organisation’s Director-General every four years. On Friday 10 November, the General Conference of UNESCO is expected to adopt the Executive Board’s proposal and appoint Audrey Azoulay from France to serve as UNESCO’s next Director-General.

Inquiries: Ambassador Pekka Puustinen, Permanent Delegation of Finland to UNESCO +33 6 2558 7140.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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