The UN Human Rights Council and the Nordics: Past Experiences and Future Prospects

Webinar · 07.09.2021 14:00 - 15:15

Tuesday 7 September 2021, at 14.0015.15 EEST

Human rights are today under pressure by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of autocratic states, and new human rights problems. The work conducted at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the foremost international body tasked with human rights promotion and protection, is therefore of increasing relevance. Membership in the UN Human Rights Council has attracted the Nordic countries in recent years with Iceland serving half a term in 2018-2019, Denmark 2019-2021, and Finland having announced its candidacy for 2022-2024.

The aim of the webinar is to discuss Nordic experiences in the UN Human Rights Council as well as future prospects for involvement. The following questions will be addressed: What lessons can be learnt from Nordic memberships? Do the countries differ in their human rights policies? What are Finland’s policy priorities? Why are the Nordics needed on the UN Human Rights Council?

Programme:

Opening Words:
Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Speakers:
‘Nordic Experiences in the UN Human Rights Council: Iceland and Denmark’
Katja Creutz, Leading Researcher, FIIA

‘The Finnish Candidacy for 2022-2024’
Paula Parviainen, Ambassador, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Ann-Mari Fröberg, Team Leader, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

‘Why are the Nordics Needed on the UN Human Rights Council’
Måns Molander, Nordic Director, Human Rights Watch

Chair:
Pia Hansson, Director, Icelandic Institute of International Affairs, University of Iceland, Reykjavik

Puhujat

Opening words

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).

Speakers

Katja Creutz

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Katja Creutz is Leading Researcher in FIIA’s Global Security programme. Her main field of expertise is international law and especially issues of responsibility, human rights and global governance. Dr Creutz holds a Doctor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws programme degree from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Political Science from Åbo Akademi University. She has previously worked as Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights of the University of Helsinki. Her recent publications include ‘Nordic Experiences in the UN Human Rights Council: A Tour d’Horizon of 2019 with Iceland and Denmark’ and State Responsibility in the International Legal Order: A Critical Appraisal published by Cambridge University Press.

Paula Parviainen

Ambassador, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Paula Parviainen is Ambassador in charge of Finland’s candidacy campaign to the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024 at the Unit for Human Rights Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. She joined the MFA in 1995. Ambassador Parviainen has served in Finland’s missions in Singapore, Paris, New York, Beijing and most recently as Ambassador for Finland in Singapore. In the Ministry, she has held positions in the cabinet of the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, in addition to several positions at the Communications department, where she served as Director General for Communications Department in 2019-2020 and concurrently was the chair for Finland Promotion Board. Ambassador Parviainen has a Master of Political Science degree from Åbo Akademi University and she has completed master’s studies at the Boston University, in Massachusetts, USA.

Ann-Mari Fröberg

Team leader, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Ann-Mari Fröberg is the Team Leader for the Human Rights Council team at the Unit for Human Rights Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. She joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2005. She has previously served in Finland’s missions to the UN in New York and Geneva and most recently as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Norway. In Helsinki, she has worked amongst others in the Human Rights Policy Unit, the Unit for Northern Europe and the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship Task Force (2008). Before joining the Ministry’s diplomatic corps, she worked at Europe Information and at the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University. Ms Fröberg has a Master of Political Science degree from Åbo Akademi University.

Måns Molander

Nordic Director, Human Rights Watch

Måns Molander is the Nordic Director of Human Rights Watch. Based in Stockholm, he advocates for the Nordic countries to pursue rights-respecting foreign policies. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 2015, Måns was the Head of the Human Rights Section at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, responsible for coordinating human rights in Swedish foreign policy. He has 17 years of experience in governmental affairs, specialising in peace and security, EU affairs and human rights, including diplomatic postings at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in Geneva and the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Måns holds a Master of Laws degree from Uppsala University and the University of Strasbourg.

Chair

Pia Hansson

Director, Icelandic Institute of International Affairs, University of Iceland, Reykjavik

Pia Hansson is the Director of the Institute of International Affairs 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. She is responsible for the coordination of a number of research projects in the field of international relations and foreign policy. 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.