Finnish National Commission for UNESCO

At the national level, UNESCO is supported by the national commissions for UNESCO, which act as liaison between UNESCO and national authorities. The Finnish National Commission is an advisory body and issues opinions to the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Government and takes initiatives with regard to:

  • measures to be taken in Finland following decisions and recommendations adopted by UNESCO General Conferences and UNESCO executive bodies and by international conferences and meetings organised by UNESCO;
  • other major matters and questions of principle relating to the activities of UNESCO;
  • the representation of Finland at General Conferences and on UNESCO executive bodies and at international meetings and talks organised by UNESCO;
  • other questions relating to UNESCO's fields of activity assigned to the Commission by the Ministry of Education and Culture; and
  • communication of UNESCO's aims and activities in Finland.

The Commission contributes also to the work of UNESCO's intergovernmental committees and participates in Nordic and international meetings.
The Finnish National Commission for UNESCO consists of a Chairperson and 11 members representing expertise in the fields of UNESCO. The Commission is nominated by the Government for a four-year term.

Members 2019–2022


  • Member of the European Parliament Henna Virkkunen


  • Professor Maija Aksela, University of Helsinki
  • Director General Elina Anttila, National Museum of Finland
  • Director of communications and public affairs Veera Heinonen, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
  • Writer Juha Itkonen
  • Vice chair of the Board of the Finnish National Opera Leif Jakobsson
  • School Counsellor Jorma Kauppinen, Finnish National Agency for Education
  • Executive Director of culture and leisure Tommi Laitio, City of Helsinki
  • Specialist on international advocacy Kaisa Larjomaa, Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi
  • Senior Editor-in-Chief Kaius Niemi, Helsingin Sanomat
  • Director Sirpa Rautio, Human Rights Centre
  • Director Päivi Tikka, Strategic Research, Academy of Finland

The Secretariat of the National Commission is provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Ms Zabrina Holmström
Tel.: +358 295 3 30114
[email protected]


The Finnish National Commission for UNESCO
Ministry of Education and Culture
International Relations
P.O. Box 29
Tel. +358 295 3 30004  
Fax. +358 9 1607 6980
E-mail: unesco.okm(a)