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The fifteenth Martti Ahtisaari Lectures event, titled Crisis Management or Reconstruction – Views on International Security from Neutral Countries, took place in Jyväskylä on 14 October 2021. The event offered a look at issues common to Finland and Switzerland related to European security and peace mediation. 

The keynote speakers of the evening were Pekka Haavisto, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Pälvi Pulli, Head of Security Policy at the Swiss Ministry of Defence. After the keynotes, a panel discussion was held, with Haavisto and Pulli accompanied by Mika Aaltola, Director of the Finnish Institute for International Affairs. The discussion was moderated by the journalist Seija Vaaherkumpu. 

The event offered a look at international security policy solutions in a situation where the two countries are about to finalize the acquisition of new fighters. Another topical issue was a neutral country’s foreign and security policy in an international crisis management context.

The series of lectures carrying Martti Ahtisaari's name

On November 8, 1999, the presidents of the republics of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland gathered in Jyväskylä to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. The presidents discussed current issues and addressed the audience in the Great Hall of the University of Jyväskylä. The Presidents in turn presented their views on the future prospects of their own country and Europe.

In February 2000, representatives of the Central Finland National Defence Association, the City of Jyväskylä, the University of Jyväskylä, and the Keskisuomalainen newspaper obtained permission from President Ahtisaari to arrange an annual lecture under his name.

The series of lectures carrying Martti Ahtisaari's name has featured lectures by prominent Finnish and international speakers. Each lecture has dealt with aspects of Ahtisaari's work: politics, international relations, and current world events. President Martti Ahtisaari himself gave a lecture in 2007. The lecture is open for public and held at the University of Jyväskylä.

Martti Ahtisaari lectures are organised by the City of Jyväskylä, University of Jyväskylä, Newspaper Keskisuomalainen and the Central Finland National Defence Association.

President Martti Ahtisaari

The 10th President of the Republic of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, has been the most internationally-oriented President of Finland to date in terms of both career and outlook. He has received particular respect and recognition within the United Nations. His name is integrally linked to Namibia's transition to independence. Towards the end of his term as President, Mr Ahtisaari was instrumental in bringing to an end the conflict in Kosovo.

President Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008.

President Ahtisaari's internationally influential work has continued very convincingly even after his time as Finland's president. President Martti Ahtisaari founded the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), of which he is Chairman of the Board, in 2000. CMI works to strengthen the capacity of the international community in comprehensive crisis management and work on contacts and combines analysis, action, and advocacy.

In the spring and summer of 2005, President Ahtisaari earned credit in the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement. The negotiations leaded to the peace agreement in August 2005. In the autumn of 2003, he leaded an independent panel on the security and safety of UN personnel in Iraq. He also works as UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Personal Envoy of the OSCE CiO for central Asia.

President Ahtisaari is a member of the Independent Commission on Turkey, which examines the challenges and opportunities presented by Turkey's possible accession into the European Union. He is a member of an independent Consultative Group on the Past, seeking consensus in Northern Ireland on how to best deal with the legacy of the past.

President Ahtisaari was appointed the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo during 2005-2008. President Ahtisaari is active in numerous non-governmental and non-profit organisations.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008 to Martti Ahtisaari for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts. He also received the UNESCO's Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize for 2008.

Partners organizing the event:

Central Finland National Defence Association
University of Jyväskylä
Keskisuomalainen newspaper
City of Jyväskylä

Speakers and topics of the speeches:

Pekka Haavisto, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs
Pälvi Pulli, Head of Security Policy at the Swiss Ministry of Defence

General Jarmo Lindberg, Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces: “The Finnish Defence Forces in 2015”

Olli Rehn, EU's monetary and economic affairs commissioner: "Europe after the storm"

Jyrki Katainen, Prime minister of Finland: "Opportunities and potential for cooperation in the Baltic Sea and Arctic regions"

Mari Kiviniemi, Prime minister of Finland: “Finland, Europe and the rising east”

Jorma Ollila, Chairman of Nokia and Royal Dutch Shell: “Is our renewal possible only through crises?”

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey: “Turkey and the EU: building a common future”

Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland: “Finland in a changing world”

Tarja Halonen, President of Finland: "Finland's foreign and security policy"

Branko Crvenkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia: "The Republic of Macedonia and its role in Southeastern Europe"

Matti Vanhanen, Finnish Prime Minister: "Finland, European Union and Russia"

Arnold Rüütel, President of the Republic of Estonia: "Cooperation in the Baltic Sea and European Union Regions - Estonia's choices

Göran Persson, Swedish Prime Minister: "North Europe - A Blueprint for peace and Security"

Harri Holkeri, Councilor of State: "Is Now the Time for UN Reform?"

Max Jakobson, Minister : "Finland in changing Europe"

martti ahtisaari lecture