Finland maintains progressive diplomatic ties with Nigeria- Finnish envoy
By Prince Okafor
Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen has described his country’s bilateral relationship with Nigeria as worthy of emulation, saying that Nigeria and Finland have continued to enjoy better and progressive diplomatic ties since instituted.
Jyrki said this in Abuja, following Finland’s 102nd independency with a special focus on how the embassy of Finland in Nigeria has been promoting the Finnish-Nigerian partnership by creating awareness as well as finding political and business solutions based on circular economy in Nigeria.
According to the Ambassador who was expressive in sharing his country’s special focus on sustainable development and nature through photography and virtual multimedia experience through exhibitions. This he said is particularly from young Finnish photographer Niko Laurila, who introduced Finnish seasons, such as winter – snow, ice and northern lights.
“We want to encourage and give opportunities to young talented artists, more so in Nigeria, to get ahead in their career both at home and abroad and the Finnish embassies abroad provide an excellent opportunity for this.” He said.
Speaking on the idea of possible advanced and or new cooperation with Nigeria, Pulkkinen, reminded the meeting that within the Presidency of EU, Finland has responsibilities in organizing the new commission, leading the budget preparation and pushing some important policy goals, such as sustainability and countering climate change, and clarifying the European core values, like human rights, freedom of speech, and peace, among the others.
“Finland, a strong supporter of multilateral cooperation, is also committed to working globally towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, agreed by the countries of the world within the UN, some years ago. Finland and Nigeria have both integrated the SDGs in their current government programmes Ambassador Pulkkinen said, while emphasising the “Importance of monitoring and evaluation of SDGs on a country level”.
Going further he said that, “Finland was the first country in the world that actually evaluated their SDG policies, instead of simple reporting and Nigeria on the other hand is the first country in Africa to evaluate its SDG policies. This is something to celebrate.”
Also present at the meeting was Special Senior Assistant on SDGs to the President Buhari, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who reiterated the progressive diplomatic relationship Nigeria and Finland enjoy.
However, the meeting further disclosed that Finland has set its goal to be the first carbon neutral country by 2035, and the whole EU is also now adjusting its own policy to be more ambitious.
Since Nigeria is also affected by climate change, some solutions may be found within the sphere of circular economy, an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources.