FIIA Forum: Celebrating 60 years of FIIA: Finnish foreign and security policy in a Nordic context

Live stream · 29.09.2021 13:30 - 18:00

The FIIA Forum 2021 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. This year, the FIIA Forum is dedicated to Finnish foreign and security policy and the Nordic cooperation in these fields. Forum will be opened by President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.

The Nordic countries have a long-lasting culture of cooperation in different fields of policies, ranging from education and culture to defence cooperation. In the field of foreign and security policy it has become more and more visible how we share the same challenges. Russia’s great power aspirations present challenges to all Nordic countries and need to be analysed in the broader Nordic context. Chinese aspirations and US goals affect the whole global community but also have regional consequences. Climate change and its security implications need to be addressed more closely to evaluate how the Nordic region might be affected. The size and complexity of these threats and challenges require continued Nordic cooperation and exchange of views for a better understanding and coordinated responses. The aim of the event is to chart how Nordic countries could do even more together to rise up to these challenges.

You can follow the live stream here.

PROGRAMME:

13:30 – 15:00 Panel discussion with the Directors of the Nordic institutes: Nordic foreign policies facing global challenges

Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA
Kristian Fischer
, Director, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
Pia Hansson
, Director, Icelandic Institute of International Affairs (IIA)
Ulf Sverdrup
, Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
Marie Söderberg
, Acting Director, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska Institutet, UI)

Moderator: Maria Annala, Head of Research Communications, FIIA

16:00 – 18:00 FIIA FORUM – Celebrating 60 years of FIIA: Finnish foreign and security policy in a Nordic context 

Welcoming remarks: Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Opening remarks: Kai Sauer, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Keynote address: ”Finnish Foreign and Security Policy”
Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland

Panel discussion: “Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy”

Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway
Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Member of the Danish Parliament for the Greenlandic Inuit Ataqatigiit, Chair of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR)
Pål Jonson, Chairman of the Committee on Defence, Swedish Parliament

Moderator: Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Puhujat

Panel discussion: "Nordic foreign policies facing global challenges"

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).

Kristian Fischer

Director, DIIS

Kristian Fischer is the Director of the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). Before his post as director, he has acquired substantial experience from international positions, including the Danish Delegation to NATO in Brussels. Before DIIS, he held the position as Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Danish Ministry of Defence, where he headed the Security Policy Division. Mr. Fischer holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Aarhus and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Australian National University.

Pia Hansson

Director, IIA

Pia Hansson is the Director of the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) and its three centres, the Centre for Small State Studies, the Centre for Arctic Studies, and Höfði Reykjavik Peace Centre, at the University of Iceland. Prior to this, she was the Head Spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Colombo on behalf of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Additionally, her professional experience includes a variety of media specialist and producer roles in both Iceland and Denmark. Ms. Hansson holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Iceland, a B.A. in Communication from the University of Minnesota, as well as having studied Television Production at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.

Ulf Sverdrup

Director, NUPI

Ulf Sverdrup is the Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo. Before taking up the position at NUPI, he was a professor at the Norwegian Business School BI, and a research professor at ARENA, Centre for European Studies, at the University of Oslo. He earned his Master’s degree at the University of Bergen. Dr Sverdrup has published extensively on various topics in international politics, with a particular emphasis on European politics, European integration, and Norwegian foreign policy. He has been a Jean Monnet fellow at the European University Institute, a Visiting scholar at the Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung, and he has also worked as senior advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Marie Söderberg

Acting Director, UI

Marie Söderberg is the Acting Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska Institutet, UI). Formerly, she has held roles as Adjunct Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and as Professor at the European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS). In 2015, Dr Söderberg received the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation at the Japanese Embassy for her great contribution to enhance the understanding of Japan in Sweden and Europe. She holds a PhD from the Institute for Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, and has completed academic studies also in Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, and at Fairfield University, Connecticut, USA.

Moderator

Maria Annala

Head of Research Communications, FIIA

Maria Annala is the Head of Research Communications and a Research Fellow at FIIA. She specializes in US domestic and foreign policy. From 2015 to 2019 she lived in Boston and worked as a freelance journalist, writing about American politics for the Finnish News Agency STT, Lännen Media and UP-magazine. Her nonfiction book “Trumpin kansa” (Trump's People) sheds light on the worldview of those Americans who lost the 2020 election but continue to have a big impact on American politics.

Opening remarks

Kai Sauer

Under-Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Kai Sauer is the Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Previously, he has worked as Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York (2014-2019) and as Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN (2010-2014). Mr Sauer has also served as Director at the Unit for UN Affairs of the MFA, as Senior Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, President Martti Ahtisaari in UNOSEK and as Director of the Unit for the Western Balkans of the MFA. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Tampere and a Doctorate of Humane Letters (h.c.), Northland College, Wisconsin.

Keynote address: ”Finnish Foreign and Security Policy”

Sauli Niinistö

President of the Republic of Finland

Sauli Niinistö is the 12th President of the Republic of Finland. He was inaugurated on 1 March 2012 and re-elected for another six-year term in January 2018. Sauli Niinistö was first elected to Parliament in 1987. He was appointed Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister in 1995, and served as Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2003. Niinistö was Chairman of the National Coalition Party from 1994 to 2001. In addition to his political activities in Finland, he was the Chairman of the European Democrat Union (EDU). In 2003, Sauli Niinistö took up the post of Vice President of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. He has also been a Member and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a Member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). Sauli Niinistö returned to the Finnish Parliament in the 2007 and was Speaker of Parliament from 2007 to 2011.

Panel discussion: “Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy”

Ine Eriksen Søreide

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway

Ine Eriksen Søreide is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway. Previously, she has served as the Minister of Defence (2013-17). She has chaired the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence (2009-13) and the Standing Committee on Education, Research and Church Affairs (2005-09). She has also been the head of Enlarged Foreign Affairs Committee (2009-13). She has a graduate degree in Law from the University of Tromsø.

Pekka Haavisto

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Pekka Haavisto is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland. He served as Minister of Development and the Environment (1995–1999) and as Minister for International Development (2013–2014). He was a Member of Parliament in 1983–1995 and was returned to Parliament in 2007. In 1993–1995 and in 2018–2019, he was Party Leader of the Greens in Finland. He has also served several years as a member of the Helsinki City Council. Minister Haavisto has gained wide experience of various areas of foreign policy, for example, while chairing the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Task Forces on environmental impacts of war in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, occupied Palestinian territory and Sudan. He has also worked as the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur, Special Advisor for the UN (ASG) in the Darfur peace process, and Special Representative to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in African crises.

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen

Member of the Danish Parliament for the Greenlandic Inuit Ataqatigiit, Chair of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR)

Aaja Chemnitz Larsen is the Member of the Danish Parliament for the Greenlandic Inuit Ataqatigiit (2015-) and the Chair of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR). She has been in the boards of several organizations, such as Statistics Greenland, Institute of Human Rights and Child Council in Greenland. Besides her political work, Ms Chemnitz Larsen has been active as a volunteer in several organizations.

Pål Jonson

Chairman of the Committee on Defence, Swedish Parliament

Pål Jonson is the Chairman of the Committee on Defence in the Swedish Parliament and spokesperson for the Moderate party on defence issues. He entered Riksdagen in 2016 and has among other positions served as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs and as Chairman of the Swedish-Japanese Parliamentary Friendship Group. He previously served as Director of Communication for the Swedish Security and Defence Industry Association; as Political Advisor at the Ministry of Defence and as an analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Agency. In addition, he has been a visiting fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome. He holds a BSFS from Georgetown University, an MA in political studies from the College of Europe and a PhD in War Studies from King College.