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Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue

Stand on international affairs


  • Puolue: Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue
  • Otsikko: Stand on international affairs
  • Vuosi: 1999
  • Ohjelmatyyppi: muu ohjelma

The Finnish Social Democratic Party

XXXVIII Party Congress
May 26-30, 1999, Turku

STAND ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Approved on May 28, 1999

Unauthorized translation

Social democratic movement is basically an international movement. A world based on cooperation has always been a part of the movement's identity. Also Finnish social democracy has throughout its existence aimed at active international relations. In a modern, developed and global world this has proved to be a strength.

1. European social democracy is stronger than ever. Also globally people have given a stronger sup-port to a political movement based on principles of equality, solidarity and economic effectiveness that takes into account environmental viewpoints and guarantees people welfare. As a part of interna-tional social democratic movement an active work for human rights is a natural part of politi-cal work for SDP.

2. Nordic cooperation has decisively renewed during the past few years. The different decisions with respect to European cooperation have changed also the mutual relations between the countries. It is important that deepening of Nordic cooperation will conti-nue in the present situation. The common Nordic stabilizing social model where cooperation of labour market parties is of central importance has got broad esteem also elsewhere in Europe.

3. As a part of the European Union Finland pursues active policies also in Northern Europe. The initiative on Northern dimension that Finland made and which was accepted in EU is the best example of this. Development in neighbouring regions is important for Finland. We must contribute to the development in neighbouring regions and in eventual unexpected situations help people in distress to manage everyday life through concentrated humanitarian aid. SDP considers it important to develop cooperation between social democrats in the Barents region and other neighbouring regions. T-he basic responsibility for people and development of the country lies always with each country. Neither has Finland so big resources that she could influence neigh-bouring regions in large scale, but also here European cooperation is in key position.

4. In the global system UN and its special conferences have a central role. Emphases in Finnish UN activities must be promotion of human rights, securing prerequisites for crisis management and en-hanced security as well as reform of UN and making it function more effectively. The functional ability of Security Council must be developed simultaneously as its members are made to correspond to international power relations. Finland will not participate in peace-keeping or crisis management operations without a political authorization from Security Council or OCSE.

5. European security architecture is made of a network of complementing systems the aim of which is to increase stability and security in the region. The system consists of EU, OSCE, Council of Eu-rope, NATO, EACP and WEU.

6. Finland's foreign and security political situation is stable. In the present situation Finnish non-alignment policy is of central importance as it increases stability in northern regions of Europe. Mili-tary non-alignment requests from Finland maintenance of credible defence and its development possibilities. The choices of Finnish security policy are now and will be in the future in the hands of Finns. In a world of developing cooperation non-aligned Finland is in active cooperation with all the parts of European security architecture. Administration of Finnish foreign policy is ordinary work and it is open, transparent and encourages discussion.

7. It is important for Finland to work actively also in international economic organizations such as WTO and OECD. It deals with following important national questions in trade policy and looking after own interests. This takes place more and more in the framework of EU the Commission representing Member States. We must try to influence so that questions dealing with the rights of employees, environmental situation and preservation of national original cultures are taken into ac-count in the international system without endangering the principle of free trade. This must be taken into account also in the continued negotiations on MAI agreement or a corresponding arrangement. World Bank and International Monetary Fund must be more effective and they must better observe the problems of the global economic system.

8. Defence appropriations must be treated the same way as other discretionary expenses. The average share of defence expenses must not exceed 1,5 per cent of GNP in the long term. This line has been accepted also in the report for security and defence policy the government submitted to the parliament. In the internal division of defence appropriations attention must be paid to direction of purchases to home industry. Furthermore attention must be paid to EU's mutual defences production and justified export countries in order to maintain Finnish know-how and employment. Arms export decisions must be a part of foreign political decision-making and international criteria must be met. According to them arms must not be exported to crisis areas or to countries that crudely violate human rights.

9. Service times and training systems of conscripts have been notably renewed in 1998 to better correspo-nd to the demands of the present situation. The renewed conscription has had a successful start. Non-military service is a natural alternative to armed service in a democratic society. Conscrip-tion reform must be continued by shortening the time of non-military service to the longest armed service time. -As a part of improving conscripts' social situation rise in daily allowances must be considered in near future.

10. Voluntary defence work may promote the general objectives of defence, especially training. Voluntary defence must not support militaristic culture or biassed social views. Armed training must take place only under surveillance of defence forces and age limits must be taken into account. Vol-untary defence does not need civil guards which have no grounds nor social premises.

11. Social Democratic Party supports balanced immigration policy based on respect for legal protection and human rights and on immigrants' own responsibility for their situation. These princi-ples must be followed also in the development of EU's common immigration policy. Govern-ment approved in October 1998 a programme on immigration and refugee policy where the basic objective is immigrants' quick and flexible adaptation to society. The objective is to underline immigrant's own responsibility of his situation and commitment to adaptation e.g. by participation in language and trade courses. Then immigrant can get the same social benefits as native-born Finns when needed.

12. SDP is building a multicultural and equal society where every citizen is equal independent of birth or colour. -Work against racism and discrimination is important for SDP and it is a natural part of work on all levels of organization. Cooperation of different people is a benefit and strength of the whole society. It is important that immigrants adapt to Finland and that their special skills are used for the benefit of Finnish society.

13. The basic objectives of Finnish development cooperation are to diminish large-scale poverty, to promote social equality, human rights and democracy in developing countries and to prevent interna-tional environmental threats. These objectives have a large social support in Finland. The decision on principles of development cooperation from September 1996 and line of developing country policy from October 1998 make a good groung for Finnish development cooperation in the beginning of 2000s.

14. Finnish development cooperation money must primarily support entrepreneurship of people in developing countries. The share of economic-commercial cooperation must be diminished and interest subsidy appropriations lowered to the level the principle decision defined. At least 10 per cent of development cooperation appropriations must also in the future be directed to non-govern-mental organizations. A time table for increasing development cooperation appropriations to 0,7 per cent of GNP must be made in this electoral period.

15. The situation of the world's poorest countries in the international system must be improved. The management expenses of foreign debts are a real barrier to development in many of the world's poor-est countries. Also creditors must bear responsibility for loans granted on loose grounds. The even-tual reliefs must always be connected with commitment to strict economy and the relieved resources must be used to promotion of social progress.

16. SDP supports the objective according to which an agreement banning child labour must be achieved in ILO. This requests improvement of the whole labour market system especially in devel-oping countries where child labour is a special problem. SDP urges to active work in order to spread information of the disadvantages of child labour so that consumers can pay attention to this matter when they choose products.

17. In disarmament Finland must act decisively on the grounds of her objectives and security inter-ests. This takes place in multilateral disarmament and arms control negotiations such as UN Conference on Disarmament and in preparation and implementation of agreements as a Member State of the European Union.