Ministerial Session 2024

The CBSS foreign ministers and high-level representatives convened in Porvoo, Finland, and adopted the Porvoo Declaration, which emphasises resilience, societal security, and crisis preparedness in the Baltic Sea Region.

Organised by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the 21st CBSS Ministerial Session was held on 14 June 2024 in Porvoo, the second oldest town in Finland. The session was attended by foreign ministers and high-level representatives from CBSS member states, as well as a high-level representative of the European Union.

During the meeting, the attendees adopted the Porvoo Declaration, which notably advocates for strengthening resilience and crisis preparedness in the Baltic Sea Region.

CBSS Ministerial Session 2024 in Porvoo. Photo: Haikon Kartano / MFAFinland.

Porvoo Declaration

The Porvoo Declaration was made during the 21st CBSS Ministerial Session, presided over by Elina Valtonen, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. Finland currently holds the presidency of the CBSS.

This declaration advocates for strengthened resilience and crisis preparedness, underscoring the necessity of practical cooperation within the Council and consolidating ties among democratic and like-minded states in the region. The declaration further highlights critical areas such as safety, hybrid threats, and societal security.

Support for Ukraine

A notable aspect of the declaration is its reaffirmation of support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing war. The Council condemned Russia’s illegal, unjustified, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia, an initial member of the CBSS, was suspended from the Council in March 2022 and subsequently withdrew in May 2022. 

The Council further expressed satisfaction with the development of practical cooperation with Ukrainian partners across various levels, including governments, regions, cities, municipalities, civil society, and academia.

CBSS Ministerial Session 2024 in Porvoo. Photo: Haikon Kartano / MFAFinland.

Role of Youth

The ministers also emphasised the important role of youth in society, welcoming the youth position paper developed during the CBSS Youth Ministerial 2024 held in Helsinki in May. This paper focuses on youth social participation and resilience, stressing the need for meaningful engagement of young people in societal development.

As Finland’s presidency of the CBSS draws to a close on 30 June 2024, the Council expressed gratitude for its leadership. Under Finland’s tenure, the CBSS prioritised comprehensive security, crisis preparedness, and societal resilience.

The session also marked the welcoming of Estonia as the incoming CBSS presidency, beginning on 1 July 2024.

Press Conference

Watch a joint press conference on the CBSS Ministerial Session 2024 featuring the “CBSS Trio” Foreign Ministers: Elina Valtonen (Finland – incumbent CBSS Presidency), Margus Tsahkna (Estonia – upcoming Presidency) and Annalena Baerbock (Germany – previous Presidency).

Photos: Haikon Kartano / MFAFinland