Pasi Hellmann – Keynote 01 2023

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19 June 2023 | 16:00 EEST | Main auditorium | Video recording | Transcript
Consolidated programme 2023 overview / Pasi Hellmann, Keynote

Mr Pasi Hellman is Under-Secretary of State for International Development at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

About Pasi Hellmann

Mr Pasi Hellman is Under-Secretary of State for International Development at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland since September 2022.

Mr Hellman has a 30 year international career focusing on the nexus of international relations, global and development issues, sustainable finance, and business internationalization. He is a career diplomat in the Finnish foreign service since 1995 and has also served in full-time top positions in international financial institutions for nine years.

Before his current position, Mr Hellman was Finland’s Consul General in Shanghai, China (2019-2022). He was Managing Director in the Nordic Development Fund in Helsinki (2012-18), and has served in the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, the Philippines (2004-07). In Finland’s foreign service he has held key positions at the Ministry, including Deputy Director General at the Department for Development Policy, Director for International Financial Institutions Division, and Adviser to the Minister for International Development. He has also worked at the Finnish embassies in the Netherlands and in Kenya.

Mr Hellman has wide experience of board level positions in national and international financial and other institutions, most notably in the African Guarantee Fund, UNU/WIDER, and as Finland’s Governor or Alternate Governor in various international financial institutions (AfDB, ADB, IDB, IFAD).

Mr. Hellman is a graduate of the Turku School of Economics (currently part of the University of Turku) in Finland, where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Science in Economics (International Business) in 1996 and Master of Science in Economics in 1991.

Video record


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>> PASI HELLMAN: Good afternoon, everybody. It is really a pleasure to be here today and I’m very pleased to welcome you to the EuroDIG on behalf of the Finnish government. I’m sure if the timing was different, there could be a full Minister from the Finnish government participating here today. But as today is the last day of the outgoing Finnish government and tomorrow is the first day of the incoming Finnish government, the timing just didn’t allow that this time.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the organizers of this event and the stakeholders in Tampere for enabling this to take place. A special thanks goes to the dedicated staff of the EuroDIG Secretariat who have been working hard to put this thing together.

Finland is committed to inclusive, sustainable digital development as part of the development policy and the Agenda 2030 more globally.

Digital development forms an integral part of our policy and tackling inequality in digital development is central to us.

We want to engage our partners to promote Sustainable Development, for instance, Finland is had strongly committed to the European Union’s global gateway strategy in which the E.U. is aiming to mobilize 300 million euros on infrastructure and digital energy transport and the like connectivity projects around the world.

This money will come from both public and private sources and half of it, 150 billion will be channeled to countries in Africa.

Global gateway will facilitate the projects in secure and resilient connectivity infrastructures, including submarine and terrestrial fiberoptic cables and networks as well as cloud and data infrastructures.

It will also support regulatory frameworks and the principles of trusted connectivity such as data protection and enhanced innovation partnerships.

We’re working with partners to implement this strategy and focusing on initiatives related to strengthening trusted digital connectivity, fair data economy and strengthening innovation systems, ecosystems in Africa. We cooperate closely with the Finnish private sector to deliver results under the global gateway. The Finnish President had highlighted in his speech recently the linkage of competitiveness and national cybersecurity to the development of critical technologies. He also stressed that development of technologies, such as 6G quantum computing and artificial intelligence to meet our values requires constant cooperation with our partners. We as Finland are known as a kind of pioneer of mobile technology, both in innovations and in regulation, wireless communications has developed gradually as new technology generations emerged, and here we have been focusing on technology devices and software, but also looking at the preparation of new business models and other societal changes affected beyond 5G and 6G. We want to be actively involved in visioning and building the future standards for telecommunications.

This requires common agreements on preconditions and basic solutions, and I’m glad to see that secretary Doreen Bogdan-Martin from ITU is among the keynote speakers through video message as ITU has a crucial role in the way that we approach technological development and digitalization.

The United Nations goals for socially, economically, the Sustainable Development, it is a good starting point for G development.

We think that Finland is a frontrunner in human-centric AI, and we support the European Commission’s objective of defining common European risk-based approach for AI and possibly turning Europe into a global hub for trustworthy artificial intelligence. And in this area we look to build partnerships with our African partners.

When it comes to developing quantum technologies we are also active and hopefully cooperation in this field will be successful as the research and business communities can find common interests.

We do recognize the potential economic significance of this field, and, of course, the cybersecurity aspects related to it.

Finally, cyber threats and technology questions, those are at the centre of the cybersecurity policy of the 2020s, technology increases the vulnerabilities and dependencies of societies.

New technologies have potentially significant cybersecurity implications. In terms of AI, the use of its systems and applications for example creating malware and spreading disinformation as well as the use of machine learning, computer vision, image recognitions, they are of concern. In terms of quantum technology, the is caused by hostile actor efforts to create technology based on supercomputing which would be able to break Western encryption technologies.

We recognize that the level playing field and competition are crucial for the development of new technologies, some actors use methods unfamiliar to normal market practices, at the same time, we want to build these technologies by respecting democratic values and principles and we very much stress technology neutrality as the driving principle.

Just as the patent had underlined, cooperation with partners is essential in order to promote sustainable technological development, that is based on our common values. This and other events which are based on the multistakeholder model for Internet Governance are excellent platforms to organize dialogue on these matters. All this is why I would really like to wish you all an open mind and very fruitful discussions over these days.

Thank you.