Address to the Diplomatic Corps by President Sauli Niinistö on 1 March 2024

Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland
Kuva: Matti Porre/Tasavallan presidentin kanslia

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps

I would like to thank you, Ambassador Buljević, for your kind words as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

I would also like to thank you for all the bilateral encounters, visits and discussions that we have had over the years.

It has always been a pleasure to work with you and your missions. Your capitals have truly sent their best to Helsinki.

A lot has changed during my two terms as the President of the Republic of Finland. And we have no reason to expect the pace of events to slow down. Many things are in motion.

We are living a time of geopolitical upheavals. Emerging technologies are advancing at a breath-taking speed. The realities of climate change and biodiversity loss call, or at least should call in question the very ways we live our lives.

In the face of these changes, Finland has adapted its policies. The biggest change for us was catalysed by Russia’s actions. First, its attempt to limit NATO’s enlargement. Then, cruel attack on Ukraine. Taken together, these resulted in our rapid NATO accession.

Yet not everything has changed. The main direction of Finnish foreign and security policy has remained clear and predictable. We are a stable Nordic country, an active member of the European Union and a staunch supporter of the multilateral system. We continue to invest in our own defence and security. And we continue to be a reliable interlocutor to all our international partners.

Dear friends

In these times of change and uncertainty, your work is more important than ever. Mutually respectful bilateral relations based on trust can help us work together at the multilateral level. When wars and conflicts are raging, and the world is rapidly changing, we need more diplomacy, not less.

I want thank you all for your support and cooperation and wish you wisdom and success in your very important duties. Thank you.