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Ahtisaari this year´s Dag Hammarskjöld lecturer

Pressmeddelande   •   Sep 10, 2008 08:49 CEST

The former president of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari will deliver this year´s Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture on September 18 in the presence of Crown Princess Victoria. In the last few years he has had a number of important peace assignments in Indonesia, Iraq, and Kosovo, among others.

Martti Ahtisaari was elected Finland´s tenth president in 1994 after a long career at the UN and the Finnish foreign ministry. He was succeeded by Tarja Halonen in March 2000. After his time as president he has had several weighty international peace missions and has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Nobel Prize for Peace.

- Martti Ahtisaari works in the spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, devoting a major part of his life to international conflict resolution, says Henning Melber, administrative director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, which arranges the lecture in collaboration with Uppsala University.

Ahtisaari´s work facilitated the peace process in Aceh Province in Indonesia, and he chaired an independent panel on security in Iraq. He also played a key role as a UN adviser in the difficult process that led to the independence of Namibia in 1990. From March 2005 to February 2008 Ahtisaari was appointed by the UN to lead the work regarding the future status of Kosovo. He is also active in several independent organizations in the field of peace and human rights. Today he works with the organization CMI, the Crisis Management Initiative, which he also founded.

Martti Ahtsaari will lecture in the Grand Auditorium, University Main Building, on September 18 at 5.15 p.m. The audience should be seated by 4.45 p.m. The title of the lecture is: "Can the International Community Meet the Challenges Ahead of Us?"
Ahtisaari will also take part in a wreath-laying ceremony on the same day at 2.00 p.m., at Dag Hammarskjöld´s grave in the old cemetery in Uppsala ­- a photo opportunity.

The event is open to the public. No prior reservation or ticket necessary.

Program and more information at the Dag Hammarskjöld foundations website.

Kajsa Övergaard, coordinator: phone +46 (0)18-410 10 04; cell phone: +46 (0)76-541 10 04
Anneli Waara, press officer: cell phone +46 (0)70-425 07 18;