Meeting with officials, parliamentarians and human rights activists, ICHR delegation makes an important visit to Finland
Meeting with officials, parliamentarians and human rights activists,
ICHR delegation makes an important visit to Finland
A delegation of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) made an important visit to the Finnish capital, Helsinki. During the visit, the ICHR delegation met with government officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (MoFA), members of the Parliament of Finland, staff of the Finnish National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), human rights activists, and representatives of civil society organisations.
The ICHR delegation included Mr. Issam Arouri, ICHR Commissioner General, Dr. Ammar Dwaik, ICHR Director General, Ms. Diana Battu, ICHR Commissioner, and Bahjat al-Hilu, ICHR Awareness Raising and Training Coordinator in the Gaza Strip. At the MoFA, the ICHR delegation met with Ms. Anu Saarela, Deputy Director General of the Department for Legal Service; Ms. Titta Maja, Deputy Director General of the Department for Development Policy; Ms. Riikka Eela, Director of the Unit for the Middle East, Department for Africa and the Middle East; Mr. Rauno Merisaari. Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy; and officers of the Unit for Human Rights Policy.
Members of the ICHR delegation visited the Parliament of Finland and met with a number of parliamentarian friends of Palestine, Human Rights Network, and Ombudsman Office. The delegation held meetings with representatives of the NHRI and Ombudsman for Equality. It heard a presentation from Mr. Mikua Lampinen, Expert at the Ombudsman for Equality Office, on the strengths of, and challenges to, the Finnish ombudsman experience.
The ICHR delegation visited offices of the NHRI and met with Ms. Sirpa Rautio, NHRI Director, as well as with NHRI experts. A meeting was also organised with representative of CMI, a civil society actor.
The delegation had a meeting with Mr. Tayseer al-Ajjouri, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Helsinki.
On the importance of the visit, Dr. Dwaik stated that, after Finland joined the ICHR Donor Consortium, the ICHR had to be introduced to Finnish officials. In addition to explaining ICHR mandates and nature of activity, the delegation made clear the complicated context in which the ICHR operated and the challenges to human rights groups and civil society in Palestine. Members of the ICHR delegation also emphasised the significance of Finnish support to the ICHR with a view to protecting and promoting the situation of human rights in Palestine.
In August 2021, the Finnish Department for International Development Cooperation joined the ICHR Consortium of Donors. In addition to Finland, the Consortium now brings together the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), and Representative Offices of Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands to the Palestinian National Authority.