Cablegate: Finland: Position On World Meteorological
DE RUEHHE #0290 1101351
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201351Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3278
UNCLAS HELSINKI 000290
STATE: IO/T GUINNEVERE ROBERTS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TPHY WMO FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: POSITION ON WORLD METEOROLOGICAL
REF: SECSTATE 47359
1. (SBU) Econoff delivered reftel demarche on the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) Congress to Finnish
Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) officials. (For a complete list see paragraph
5.) While the Finnish delegation generally agreed with the
U.S. position as outlined in the non-paper, they were quite
insistent that the role of the WMO be expanded to include a
mandate for additional work on climate change. The
delegation views the WMO as the heir apparent for addressing
global climate change, particularly as it relates to
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues.
They cited the close collaboration between WMO and UNEP as
the basis for expanding WMO,s role on climate change.
Finland believes additional resources should be devoted to
capacity-building and training programs, as well as WMO,s
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DPM) program.
2. (SBU) Finland agrees that the WMO should improve severe
weather modeling, and that THORPEX is an important tool that
should be supported by all WMO members. Finland would
support WMO hosting a World Climate Conference in the future,
but only if the timing makes sense and the conference has
clear, concrete goals that would facilitate a post-2012
climate change agreement.
3. (SBU) Finland plans to support the WMO
Secretary-General,s budget proposal for zero nominal growth.
The delegation felt a subcommittee preparing budgets in
advance of the meeting would be a good step forward. The
delegation was also supportive of measures for improving
transparency of the WMO, such as the Swiss proposal outlines.
The delegation stressed that a strong WMO is a Finnish
priority since it provides international benefits and support
for developing countries, leading to improved international
4. (SBU) Delegation member Alestalo continuously linked the
efforts of the WMO with addressing climate change head on.
He commented that most European countries don,t need the WMO
for basic weather and climate observations, rather European
countries are far more interested in the strong international
role that the WMO could provide in addressing climate change.
He continued by linking global warming with international
security and unrest, citing the recent report "National
Security and the Threat of Climate Change" commissioned by
the USG-funded Center for Naval Analyses.
5. (SBU) Reftel demarche was delivered to Mr. Mikko Alestalo,
Deputy Director General at the Finnish Meteorological
Institute (FMI), Ms. Maria Hurtola, Head of International
Affairs Unit (FMI), Ms. Marja-Liisa Ahtiainen, International
Affairs Unit (FMI) and Tanja Leikas, Project Assistant from
the Unit for International Environmental Policy at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Alestalo, Hurtola, and
Ahtiainen will participate in the Finnish delegation, which
will be lead by Mr. Pekka Plathan, Permanent Representative
of Finland to WMO.