By Peter Marten, March 2014
Big names in the field of peace mediation are gathering in Helsinki to create more effective dialogue and discuss how to achieve progress in places such as Yemen, Myanmar, Syria and Ukraine. For Finland, holding this conference forms a natural continuation to its long experience of actively encouraging national dialogue and peace mediation.
From March 31 to April 2, 2014, Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja and Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto are welcoming high-level guests to the Finnish capital for an event entitled Conference on National Dialogue and Mediation Processes. The conference focuses on the situations of Yemen, Myanmar, Syria and, in light of recent developments, Ukraine also.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari participates in the opening session along with Levent Bilman of the UN Department of Political Affairs and Jordan Ryan of the UN Development Programme’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. Other sessions also include representatives of the peace mediation organisation that Ahtisaari founded in 2000, Crisis Management Initiative.
Another Nobel Peace Prize laureate – journalist, politician and human-rights activist Tawakkol Karman – appears in a session about comprehensive national dialogue in Yemen. She contributes a human-rights perspective in a discussion of the challenges, achievements and next steps for her country.
Haavisto says of the conference, “It gives participants a chance to tell about their own experiences, but also to make comparisons with past and present processes in other countries, and learn something from them.”
Sessions include one on “mediation and national dialogue as tools for conflict resolution,” and another on “perspectives for a national dialogue process in Syria.” The conference consists of about 150 experts, many of them representing organisations such as Common Space Initiative and the Nobel Peace Appeal Foundation.
See also on thisisFINLAND
Conference press release
Crisis Management Initiative
Common Space Initiative
Nobel Peace Appeal Foundation
UN Department of Political Affairs
UN Development Programme’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery
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