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Finland

1 The state obligation to protect human rights

1.3 Activities in the EU [page 21-22]

PUBLIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

“The publication of the UN principles and the update of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in 2011 have had the effect in public export credits of increasing the amount of attention being paid to the impact on human rights in the projects guaranteed. Finland’s official export guarantee company, Finnvera, uses policies updated on 1 January 2013 for evaluating the environmental and social effects of projects. When granting export credit guarantees and confirming export credit guarantee conditions, the environmental and social impacts of the project in question are taken into consideration as part of the project’s total risk assessment. The development of Finnvera’s environmental and social impact assessment is continuing in accordance with the OECD Common Approaches agreement. As with other public export credit companies, Finnvera also reports on its progress at the expert meetings related to the OECD agreement.

In autumn 2011, Finnfund and twenty-four other providers of development funds signed the principles of good governance and guidelines on how the providers of development funds attempt to promote good governance in the companies funded and thereby support the sustainable economic development of developing countries. In addition, the activities of Finnfund itself and of the companies it funds should be both environmentally and socially sustainable. The same principles of responsibility apply to the activities of both Finnfund and Finnpartnership alike.

In its final report in February 2014, a development group established by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy suggested that a development innovation programme be established alongside the current financial instruments and support services. The programme is intended to compile the monitoring services for know-how and markets both in Finland and in developing countries; to produce support and development services for operators; and to enable a programme of flexible funding through the programme’s own fund. The programme will be launched in 2014.

As a follow-up measure, the working group proposes that

  • a regular dialogue be maintained with public financial institutions on the UN principles, the OECD Guidelines and other guidelines.
    Principal responsible parties: Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Employment and the Economy, continuous activities.
  • in conjunction with companies and non-governmental organisations, the potential for new cooperation initiatives in the field of development cooperation funding be examined. The work carried out in the framework of the development group is used and human rights are emphasised in the new programme for business activities in developing countries that is currently being prepared, and similarly, in the Finnpartnership programme.
    Principal responsible party: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, schedule 2014 to 2016.”
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