Can the international community meet the challenges ahead of us? by Martti Ahtisaari

The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2008: Can the International Community Meet the Challenges Ahead of Us? “It’s easy to feel desperate when thinking about the challenges facing the international community and how to meet them. But in the spirit of Dag Hammarskjöld, let’s not shy away from the difficult”, said Ahtisaari in his speech.

Event details

Date:18 September 2008
Venue:Uppsala University Hall

After a distinguished career with the United Nations and the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Martti Ahtisaari was elected President of the Republic of Finland in 1994. He held the position until the end of February 2000.

After leaving office as President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Ahtisaari has taken several international tasks to continue his career in international peace-mediation and conflict resolution. His tasks are being assisted by the staff of the Crisis Management Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation that Mr. Ahtisaari founded in 2000 and where he acts as the Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Ahtisaari’s post-presidential activities have included facilitating the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, chairing an independent panel on the security and safety of UN personnel in Iraq and appointments as the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Personal Envoy of the OSCE CiO for Central Asia. 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 future status process for Kosovo.

President Ahtisaari is active in numerous non-governmental and non-profit organisations. He acts as Co-Chair in European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the Chairman of the Governing Council of Interpeace. He is the Director-At-Large of the Imagine Nations Group and in this connection acts as a Board Member in Silatch, member of the Prize Committee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and member of the International Senior Advisory Board of West Asia North Africa (WANA) r egional forum. He is also the Chairman of the Balkan Children and Youth Foundation.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2008 from Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on Vimeo.


This lecture exists also in a written published format.  


The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture

is given in memory of Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in recognition of the values that inspired him as Secretary-General and generally in his life – compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation.

The invited speaker should be an outstanding international personality who in significant and innovative ways contributes to a more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world through valuable achievements in politics or research.

The Annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture is co-organised by Uppsala University and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. The lecture is free and includes a performance by Allmänna sången. The lecture will be filmed and available here on this webpage.


See all Dag Hammarskjöld Lectures over the years