Saturday, October 11, 2008
Ambassador William H. Luers, president of the United Nations Association of the USA, has issued the following statement regarding the Nobel Committee’s awarding of the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize to Martti Ahtisaari.
The United Nations Association of the USA warmly congratulates Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland, for winning the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. Ahtisaari has been a leading diplomat at the United Nations who has set the highest standard for conflict resolution and peacemaking from Asia to Africa to Europe.
“Those in the world concerned with peace and diplomatic solutions to conflicts are uplifted by the decision of the Nobel Committee to award this year’s peace prize to Martti Ahtisaari,” said Bill Luers, the president of UNA-USA. “In this time of serious conflicts on several continents, the decision of the Nobel Committee is an important and healthy reminder to us that diplomacy works. Diplomacy and Ahtisaari have been honored by this selection of one of diplomacy’s most distinguished living practitioners.”
From his groundbreaking diplomatic work in Namibia as an Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in 1989-90, to his mediation work in Aceh, Indonesia, to his most recent efforts in Kosovo, also under the auspices of the Secretary-General, Ahtisaari has quietly, confidently and successfully completed his missions.
“We congratulate Martii for having consistently given diplomacy a good name, for authenticating the valuable role of the UN in peacemaking and for the remarkable skills, patience and intelligence he has brought to the Angels Game – the historic name for diplomacy,” Luers added.
Ahtisaari is the 10th UN official or agency to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The others are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (with former Vice President Al Gore) (2007), the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei (2005), Kofi Annan (2001), UN Peacekeeping Forces (1988), the Office of the UN High Commission for Refugees (1981 & 1954), the UN Children’s Fund (1965), Dag Hammarskjöld (1961) and Ralph Bunche (1950).