09 December 2015

Opening remarks at joint press conference with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland

Ban Ki-moon

Thank you very much. I am delighted to be back in Finland again to participate in the 60th anniversary celebration and thank you for your invitation and hospitality.

President Niinistö and I just held very productive talks to strengthen our partnership. We discussed the issues of refugees and migrants coming to Europe, sustainable development, countering violent extremism and climate change.

I have just come from the Climate Change negotiations which are now being held in Paris – and I will return there from here.

This is a critical moment for all countries to come together for the sake of our planet and for humanity.

I thank President Niinistö for his strong will and leadership, his own participation, and showing solidarity and vision for humanity, working together with other world leaders to address this climate change.

While there are still several outstanding issues in this current negotiation process, I am more and more encouraged to observe that there is growing political momentum and that leaders have been showing such a strong commitment. This is the right time to take action. This is for humanity and for the planet.

I am pressing developed countries to recognize their historical responsibility and therefore provide necessary scientific –and based on science – technological and financial support before and after 2020, to mobilize $100 billion per annum by 2020, and also post-2020. And I am urging developing countries to do more as their capabilities grow.

Our goal is to have a universal and robust agreement that truly addresses climate change – and puts the world on track for long-term prosperity, stability and peace, through low-carbon future.

Climate action is essential to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We can realize its vision to end poverty and usher in lives of dignity for all people on a peaceful, healthy planet.

Finland is making its mark across the international agenda.

I have come here to mark the 60th anniversary of Finland’s membership in the United Nations. Earlier today, I spoke about Finland’s enormous contributions to peacemaking, peacekeeping, mediation, development, human rights and more.

Now, I call on Finland to strengthen its invaluable engagement with the United Nations.

I especially urge Finland to continue its proud tradition of financing development.

We must continue to finance development while also meeting humanitarian needs.

I appreciate the generosity of the Finnish government and people – and I ask that, even at this difficult financial time, we take the long-term view and act for humanity.

The world confronts many grave security threats, especially the rise of violent extremism.

Our response must be robust – with full respect for human rights.

War and violence are driving millions of people from their homes.

In May next year, the United Nations will hold the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul to shape the global response. I count on Finland to be represented at the highest level.

Human mobility presents challenges and opportunities. We need honest and constructive dialogue – not polarization and xenophobia.

I urge political and community leaders to foster this dialogue in Finland. Your society depends on your leadership to remain open and compassionate. In that way, Finland will benefit from the richness that comes with diversity.

I welcome Finland’s work to prevent social exclusion, foster understanding between cultures and religions, and promote human rights, equality and democracy.

I thank President Niinistö for his leadership in supporting the United Nations as we work for a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world.

Thank you.