Statement by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö at the Summit for Democracy, 9 December 2021

Mr President,

Finland ranks high in every global index related to democracy. Finland’s democracy is built on a stable representative political system, well-functioning local governance, vibrant civil society, and low levels of corruption.

We take pride in being among the first countries to grant women the right to vote and stand in elections, more than a hundred years ago. That laid the basis for gender equality in our society.

Our own experience demonstrates that democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the principle of the rule of law, are the cornerstones for peace and development.

We also recognize that democracy is never complete, not in Finland, not anywhere else. Therefore, through the National Democracy Programme 2025, we aim to further strengthen our own system, from representation to participation, from transparency to inclusion.

In promoting democracy, Finland underlines the importance of the multilateral system. As a member of the Human Rights Council, and with central roles in the Freedom Online Coalition and the General Equality Campaign, we will do our best to protect human rights, to promote media freedom and fight disinformation, and to make technology inclusive.

Mr President,

I want to thank you for convening this summit. Democracy must be promoted wherever it is gaining a foothold. Democracy must be defended wherever it is under threat. Finland remains committed to supporting democracy nationally, as a member of the European Union, and globally.