Address to the Diplomatic Corps by the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö on 1 February 2018

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps,

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

I would also like to thank you, distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps, for the numerous congratulations I have received. I would particularly like to thank you and your missions for your excellent cooperation and for our dialogue during my first term of office as president. 

I look forward to continuing our good work together. The world is in a state of change in many ways. We can also see this in the European Union. I am, in particular, concerned about global sustainability, climate change and population growth. 

Now more than ever, we need international cooperation and concrete actions for the good of this one and only planet that we share. What more important reason for cooperation could there be? We are taking action not just for our own sake, but also for the lives of future generations. 

The President of the Republic leads Finland’s foreign policy in cooperation with the Government. Our foreign policy is based on our values, and is cooperative and open. 

Finland is active in international organisations. It is important to reform the United Nations into a more effective and influential actor. We support Secretary-General Guterres in his efforts to reform this global organisation. Finland currently holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. We are working to increase stability and dialogue. Environmental issues and combating climate change are a particular focus for us in the Arctic Council. 

Finland is a committed and active member of the European Union. Determined efforts must be made to improve the unity and functioning of the EU. As has been the case to date, efforts to increase the security of European Union citizens will have my continued support and input. 

Well-functioning and smooth bilateral relations are extremely important in international policy, and you diplomats have a key role in this work. My wife and I are grateful to be able to continue constructive cooperation with you to further our common interests in doing what is best for our respective countries and for the world. I hope to see good, close international relations also between other actors in politics, civil society and business.

I wish you every success in your valuable and demanding work.