After a distinguished career with the United Nations and the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Martti Ahtisaari was elected President of the Republic of Finland in 1994. Throughout his career he has been actively involved in conflict resolution, state building and mediation.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts”.
After serving in the UN from 1975-1988, Ahtisaari led the UN operation there from 1989-1990. He returned to Finland to assume a government position in Finland, where he also acted as the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for former Yugoslavia (1993). From 1994 to 2000 he served as President of Finland.
After leaving office Mr. Ahtisaari continued to focus his work in international peace-mediation and conflict resolution. He facilitated the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, resulting in a signed agreement that ended thirty years of conflict there. He was Inspector of the Irish Republican Army’s arms dumps, and served as UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa among other positions.
In 2000 Mr Ahtisaari founded Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a non-governmental organisation committed to helping the international community to practice more effective preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and post-conflict state building. Today he serves as its Chair. He is Co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey and the Chair of the Governing Council of Interpeace.