Skip to content

Opening speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen at the LDC Future Forum in Helsinki

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 5.3.2024 12.12

Distinguished Ministers, Under-Secretary General, Permanent Representatives, Excellencies, dear Guests,

It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you to Helsinki. It is a privilege for Finland to host this LDC Future Forum with high-level policy makers, distinguished academics, and other colleagues across the world. I thank you all for coming from near and afar.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Under-Secretary General Rabab Fatima and to the Office of the High Representative for co-organising this LDC Future Forum with Finland. Thank you for the great collaboration and for your hard work.

Let me also thank the other partners for your time and efforts to make this Forum a success.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The theme of this year’s Forum is the role of Innovations in structural transformation of LDCs. It is a particularly fitting theme for Finland, which has its own story of developing from a poor, agrarian and war-torn country to a Nordic social welfare state through social, economic and technological innovations.

In the course of this Forum we are happy to share our experiences on how with innovation and inclusion we conquered poverty in our country. We made it a principle to leave no-one behind.

The LDC Future Forum series is about our collective future and about sharing innovative solutions, best practices and policy approaches to accelerate sustainable development in your countries. Already in 2021, when we organised the first LDC Future Forum, the rationale was to bring together different actors from policy making to science, from decision makers to private sector, and to provide a platform to find concrete solutions, together.


Due to several reasons, least developed countries are more vulnerable to the ongoing and the newly emerging challenges. Yet LDCs also represent an enormous human, cultural and natural resource potential for sustainable economic growth, social well-being, peace and prosperity. What is needed is a transformational change, driven by innovation and strong private sector participation, supported and enabled by the public sector.

What we find particularly important is that whilst the UN high-level conference on LDCs is held every 10 years, the annual LDC Future Forums will keep the LDCs in our attention every year for the next five years. This is particularly important as we are preparing for the final sprint towards 2030.


Excellencies, dear guests,

As we are faced with global challenges in varying magnitude, one should not forget that each day, the world offers at least as many opportunities as obstacles.

I want to state Finland’s strong commitment to multilateralism and rules-based international order. Finland is also firmly committed to promoting and defending democracy, human rights, gender equality and the rule of law, internally and abroad.

The cornerstone of a well-functioning multilateral system is the common set of rules. Everyone must play by the rules, big and small alike. This is for the benefit of the LDCs too.

Multilateralism is also our best tool for tackling the global challenges. As most of them cross the international borders, so must their solutions do, too.


There is an intense and enriching programme ahead of us. I encourage you all to challenge yourselves, be open to new ideas and learn from each other.


I wish you all a very successful and fruitful as well as pleasant stay in our capital Helsinki.

Thank you.