Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will travel to Suriname on 3–4 May, to attend the meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Suriname holds the chairmanship of CARICOM for the first half of 2012.
Tuomioja will participate in the meeting as a guest of the CARICOM Members, and will also have bilateral discussions with the Foreign Ministers of the Member States. One of the topics of discussion during the trip will be Finland’s candidacy for a place on the UN Security Council for the term 2013–2014.
In recent years, Finland has intensified its relations with the Caribbean countries. Diplomatic relations have been established with all of the countries, and honorary consuls for Finland have been appointed in most of them. The honorary consuls of the Caribbean countries visited Finland in 2011, when they had the opportunity to learn more about Finnish industry and research, among other things.
Finland has supported meteorological services in the Caribbean countries since 2000. In addition, a conference on marine conservation has been held in Barbados and a conference on education issues in Jamaica. A conference on sustainable energy will be arranged in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2012. In addition, civil society organisations and Finnish Embassies have implemented projects in several Caribbean countries.
Additional information: Veikko Kiljunen, Advisor to the Foreign Minister, mobile tel.+358 40 351 9526, and Hannele Halmeranta, Project Assistant, mobile tel. +358 40 195 6980