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Press Releases, 4/3/2017

International conference brings the world's leading peacemakers to Helsinki

Press release 59/2017
31 March 2017

The world's leading peace and reconciliation experts will meet in Helsinki on 5 and 6 April. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland will host the conference which aims to strengthen the prospects for peace in an unstable international situation.

The number of conflicts is growing and they have become more complicated. In addition, the prevention and resolution of conflicts is more difficult than before and requires coordination and cooperation among participants.

”This conference could not be more topical. The prospects for peace are becoming slimmer. In many conflicts, weapons are seen as the answer but they only make the world less secure. Instead of weapons we need dialogue,” says one of the conference organisers and founder of Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari.

The conference will focus on national dialogues, which have become an increasingly important tool for conflict prevention and resolution. National dialogue is based on the idea that lasting solutions cannot be found to conflicts without all sectors of society participating in the peace-building.

In addition to Martti Ahtisaari, the conference keynote speakers include Lakhdar Brahimi, former UN Joint Special Representative for Syria, Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to the UN and Iraq, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, former president of Namibia, Catherine Samba-Panza, former President of the Central African Republic andPekka Haavisto, member of Parliament and the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation.

The conference is organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), Finn Church Aid, Crisis Management Initiative and Common Space Initiative.

The conference builds on the previous Conferences on Non-Formal Dialogue Processes and National Dialogues held in Helsinki in 2014 and 2015.

Inquiries: Otto Turtonen, Project Officer, tel. +358 400 262 264, and Janne Oksanen, Desk Officer, tel. +358 50 576 2196.

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format

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Updated 4/3/2017

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