Press release 233/2013
4 November 2013
The Ahtisaari Days are now held for the third time in early November. This year the main event takes place in Kuopio. Visits to schools will be made by President Martti Ahtisaari, Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja, as well as employees from the Foreign Ministry and Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).
Hate speech has become a term familiar to Finns during the past year. At the same time, a wider assortment of is needed for mediation and for the resolution of everyday conflicts.
“The prevention and peaceful solution of conflicts is a key issue for guaranteeing well-being both internationally and here in Finland. Agreement arises through everyday actions, respect for other people, and the willingness to accept diversity. We who have now been able to enjoy peace and development for decades also have the great responsibility to help the 1.5 billion people who live amidst violent conflicts every day,” Tuija Talvitie, Executive Director of CMI points out.
This topical issue will also be tackled at the public discussion to be arranged in connection with the third Ahtisaari Days at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio on 7 November. The theme of the discussion is conflict resolution, social justice and hate speech.
Apart from President Martti Ahtisaari, the panellists are Professor of Sociology Juho Saari of the University of Eastern Finland, Director Jukka Tuononen of the Crisis Management Centre Finland, and Acting Director Kristiina Kouros of the Human Rights Centre. The moderator is Jari Tourunen, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Savon Sanomat. The welcoming address is given by Petteri Paronen, Mayor of Kuopio. The audience can join in the discussion at the end of the event.
One of the main goals of the Ahtisaari Days is to raise discussion about everyday mediation in schools throughout the country.
President Ahtisaari will visit the Martti Ahtisaari School and the Lyseo Upper Secondary School in Kuopio, where he will present awards to mediator students elected by their peers. Employees from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and CMI will also visit schools in Kuopio.
On the Ahtisaari Day on 7 November, Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja will pay a visit to Etu-Töölö Upper Secondary School in Helsinki. The students and the Minister will discuss conflicts and mediation.
“Mediation is one of the priorities of our foreign policy, and peace and security are prerequisites for sustainable development. I consider it important that these themes are also discussed in schools. It would be great if as many schools as possible participated in this education of future mediator generations,” Minister Tuomioja says.
Students can contribute to the day in various ways throughout the country. For instance, peacebuilding can be practised independently by means of an internet-based game, or by playing a role game led by the teacher in the imaginary State of Kurkum. Various materials can be found on the website of the Ahtisaari Days.
Representatives of the media are welcome to follow the events.
The purpose of the Ahtisaari Days is to increase knowledge of mediation at all levels of society.The aim is to make peace work and mediation part of everyone’s daily life by treating the theme in schools, at public events and among experts.The Ahtisaari Days are held yearly in November, around Martti’s nameday (10 November).Next year, the Ahtisaari Day events will take place in Turku.The Ahtisaari Days are organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.