Non-governmental organisations are calling on the parties of the upcoming Finnish government to honour pre-election promises to boost development co-operation spending to 0.7 percent of GDP by 2010.
The NGO’s held a small demonstration on Tuesday in front of the House of the Estates, where initial Government formation talks are being held.
One of the signs carried read “Bombs will not kill poverty: 0.7%”.
The organisers of the protest included the Service Centre for Development Co-operation (KEPA), the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Finnchurchaid, the National Union of Students in Finland, the Finnish UN Association.
The demonstrators noted that Finland has long promised to raise its development co-operation to the level recommended by the United Nations. They also pointed out that the leaders of all of the new Government parties were in favour of such a move before the Parliamentary elections.
Opinion polls indicate that nearly half of Finns support the goals of the organisations.
The groups also called on those drafting the Government programme to promote trade and agricultural policy in the European Union that is compatible with Finnish development aid policy.
The organisations add that Finland can also improve the position of the world’s poor by improving the conditions of international trade. One opportunity for this will be the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Association next autumn in Mexico.
YLE24, Finnish News Agency