The Kultaranta talks begin today: The future of the international system

The Kultaranta talks on 17-18 June 2018 concentrates on the future of the international system. Hosted by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö at Kultaranta in Naantali, the event focusing on foreign and security policy is now being held for the sixth time.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will attend the Kultaranta Talks. Secretary-General Guterres will deliver the event’s closing address on Monday afternoon. President Niinistö and Secretary-General Guterres will also have a bilateral meeting.

The event begins on Sunday at 18:00 with an address by President Niinistö. The President’s opening remarks will be followed by a discussion on the topic of Power and strength or a shared order?  which will explore the challenges currently facing the rules-based world. Moderated by Tuija Talvitie, Executive Director of Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), the panel consists of Miroslav Lajcak, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Carl Bildt, former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD. The closing remarks for this session will be delivered by Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Monday’s programme begins at 9:30. Titled The EU calling – can anyone hear us?, the discussion will seek to identify ways to deliver a stronger and more cohesive European Union. It is also an opportunity to consider Finland’s objectives in relation to the EU and how those objectives can best be achieved. The panel will comprise Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, Teija Tiilikainen, Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and Annamari Sipilä, London correspondent of the Helsingin Sanomat daily newspaper. The discussion will be moderated by Matti Virtanen, journalist at Finnish financial magazine Talouselämä.

Commencing at 14:30, the Kultaranta Talks’ concluding session will tackle approaches to aligning environmental and economic sustainability. Joining the debate on The economy and the environment – towards a common welfare? will be Heidi Hautala, MEP, Jyri Häkämies, Director General of the Finnish Confederation of Industries, Oras Tynkkynen, Senior Advisor, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Mika Anttonen, Chairman of the Board, ST1 and Maija Itkonen, CEO, Gold&Green Foods. Moderating the discussion will be Tuuli Kaskinen, Executive Advisor at Demos Helsinki.

On Monday, the participants will be divided into three break-out groups tasked with considering the issues of equality, climate change and the direction of the UN from a Finnish perspective. 

Around 100 guests have been invited to take part in the Kultaranta Talks event, now in its sixth year. The event is organised in collaboration with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. The main discussions will be broadcast live on YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Sunday evening’s event is scheduled to screen on YLE Areena, while Monday’s discussions can be viewed on the Yle TV1 channel.