Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Ahtisaari has served most of his career as a civil servant in the Finnish Foreign Ministry and the United Nations (1965-1993). During his diplomatic career before the presidency, Mr Ahtisaari played a significant part in negotiations that led to the independence of Namibia from South African rule in 1990.

Mr Ahtisaari was elected President of the Republic of Finland in February 1994. He held office from 1 March 1994 to 29 February 2000. After his presidency Martti Ahtisaari founded an NGO, the Crisis Management Initiative. Most of his post-presidential activities have dealt with conflict resolution, crisis management and peace mediation. In 2005 he facilitated the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement. Between 14 November 2005 and 29 February 2008, Mr Ahtisaari acted as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Kosovo future status process.

Mr Ahtisaari has received numerous awards and decorations, the most recent of these being the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 and the UNESCO Félix Houphöuet-Boigny Peace Prize for his lifetime contribution to world peace. He is also an Honorary Citizen of Namibia.

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