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News, 08/04/2011

Peace mediation through the eyes of Kofi Annan and a former child soldier

Every Peace Matters - the logo for the CMI's anniversary seminar. Photo: CMIMore information EveryPeaceMatters.com

How is peace built at the highest political level? Or, how does a victim of cruel human rights violations end up building a career as a hip hop artist – and a peace activist? Crisis Management Initiative, the organisation established by President Martti Ahtisaari, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a seminar to be held in Helsinki on 19 April. The seminar invitees include experts of peace mediation, from Kofi Annan and Stephen Heintz to Emmanuel Jal.

Different peace processes, different solutions

The CMI anniversary seminar will go through many different solutions and stories related to conflicts and peace mediation. Ambassador Swanee Hunt will tell how to involve marginalised groups in peace mediation processes. Hunt’s experience of peace work, and especially the status of women and observation of women’s needs in peace processes reaches back several decades. The Institute for Inclusive Security, which Hunt chairs, organises research and education on these themes in more than 40 countries. The work of the institute is supported by the Hunt Alternatives Fund, which Hunt established as far back as 30 years ago:

Emmanuel Jal, on the other hand, tells about what it is like to live in the middle of a conflict through his personal experience. He was born on an unknown date in the early 1980s in the war-ridden Southern Sudan. At the age of seven, he was forcefully recruited as a child soldier. After having experienced five years of war and many other difficult ordeals, he succeeded in pulling through and becoming a well-known hip hop artist. Jal, who has recorded three studio albums, has also toured the world in various charity events. He is also a sought-after speaker up to the highest government levels. Furthermore, Jal has established the Gua Africa organisation that helps people to overcome the effects of war and poverty in Africa. 

The final speaker of the seminar will be the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with the UN in 2001. The other speakers and panellists are Tuija Talvitie (Executive Director, CMI), Stephen Heintz (President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund), Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, President Tarja Halonen, and President Martti Ahtisaari.

The seminar can be followed as a live webcast on 19 April between 2–6 pm Finnish time at www.mtv3.fi . News related to the seminar and CMI can be followed online also via these channels:

The seminar is part of the Ahtisaari Days

Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and President Martti Ahtisaari published the content of the Ahtisaari Days at the press conference held in Helsinki on Monday, 4 April. The 10th anniversary seminar of the Crisis Management Initiative organisation, to be held on 19 April, is the first part of the Ahtisaari Days.

The purpose of the Ahtisaari Days is to make peace mediation work more widely known by emphasising the meaning of education, knowledge and communication in particular. The Days will consist of three separate parts, including a gathering of international experts, an event for the public, and happenings to be held in schools.

This year, the expert part of the Ahtisaari Days will consist of the 10th anniversary seminar of CMI at the Finnish National Theatre on 19 April. The high-level stakeholder seminar of international peace mediation work will be attended by, for instance, the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The part organised for the general public will be an open discussion with President Ahtisaari. It will be held at the University of Oulu in November, around the time when the name day of Martti is celebrated (11 November). The event can be followed on a live webcast; the objective is that as many Finns as possible could participate in this event via the Internet.

The intention is that the Ahtisaari Days would be celebrated in Finnish schools as well, for instance, as a day dedicated to reconciliation.

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Updated 08/04/2011


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