Monday, 23 January 2012

Despite the international crisis, Finnish development cooperation budget will grow to 0.7% of GNI in 2015

Policy guidelines on development cooperation and target beneficiary countries

Political and economic situation:
Finland has a highly industrialized economy based on abundant forest resources and technology. In the past decade, the emergence of the high-technology sector, led by Nokia (one of the world's leading mobile-phone makers and Finland's largest company), has played a key role in modifying the structure of the Finnish economy. Following the Parliamentary Elections of last April 2011, a government, chaired by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition Party (KOK), leads the country. The KOK is a modern European liberal party, supporting low taxes and low regulation. Strongly pro-European, the party is also promoting social liberal policies.

Development policy:

The Finnish development policy is formulated, planned and implemented by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Finland promotes sustainable development, stability and security in the international community. The country has launched the Helsinki Process which aims to improve current global governance structure. The government resolution on development policy published in October 2007 set out the key points of the Finnish development policy. As stated in this document, the development assistance budget is expected to grow from 0.51% of the gross national Income in 2010 to 0.7% in 2015.[i] In 2010, Finland’s ODA amounted to USD 1.34 billion, equivalent to 0.55% of its GNI. The volume of Finnish ODA has grown over the past decade and between 2009 and 2010, the increase in real terms was 6.9%, mainly due to an increase in bilateral grants.
The Finland’s Development Policy report provides introductory information on the development projects implemented in 2010.The new policy aims at promoting the policy coherence among different sectors and also at improving the quality and effectiveness of aid on the basis of the principles stated at the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. A Results Based Approach on the Finnish development cooperation has been recently launched.

Reference contact persons:
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Erkki Tuomioja appointed in June 2011. Educational background - Ph.D. in Political Science, B.Sc. in Economics

Minister of International Cooperation Ms Heidi Hautala (CV) appointed in June 2011. She served in the Parliament of Finland and the EU Parliament. Ministry contact information

Key Objectives:
Eradication of poverty and promotion of sustainable development: 
  • Millennium Development Goals (UN General Assembly 2000)

Priority areas: 
  •         Climate and environment issues
  •         Prevention of crises
  •         Support for peace-building processes

 Consideration of the production and consumption habits of the industrialized countries, too

Cross-cutting themes in development policy: 
  • Improvement of the position of women and girls and promotion of equality
  • Promotion of the rights of children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities
  • Combat against HIV/AIDS
Sources of information for both tables: OECD - Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC) 2010, European Union 2011[ii].2015

[i] The new Development Programme Policy document will be released in the first semester of 2012.
[ii]EU Accountability Report on Financing for Development

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

US 2012 Federal budget and expenditures

The site of the White House published an interactive graphic to describe the main expenditure for this year. On a popular infographic website you can find the chart below which outlines the disproportion of expenditures for new armaments and the national security compare with expenses in the social and health sector:

Information on the budget can be found in this PDF document prepared by the Printing Office of the US Government. Wikipedia published a page with details of expenditure, and the passing of the Bill in the House of Congress

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Results of the Durban Conference on Climate Change in November 2011

The climate summit ended with the following results:
  •  A new agreement will be negotiated by 2015 and will enter into force by 2020 at latest.
  •  The Kyoto protocol will have a second phase.
  • a Green Climate Fund will be created as agreed in the Cancun conference in 2010.