Press release 157/2012
27 June 2012
Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise a seminar on opportunities of mediation on 28 June - 1 July in Helsinki for the New York based UN Ambassadors of 23 countries. The seminar is organized in cooperation with DPA, the Department of Political Affairs of the UN Secretariat.
Finland has been active in developing the UN activities related to mediation. A resolution drafted in cooperation with partner countries led by Finland and Turkey was unanimously approved in the UN General Assembly in June 2011. Based on that resolution, the UN Secretary-General has prepared guidance for more effective mediation. In the seminar, the UN Ambassadors will discuss the challenges of mediation including need for better coordination between various actors. Another topical issue is the financing of mediation activities.
The key note speakers in the seminar are President Martti Ahtisaari and Vasu Gounden of South Africa, who has been personally involved in many peace processes in Africa. Gounden is Executive Director of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban. Levent Bilman, Director of the Policy and Mediation Division in the UN Secretariat will also attend the Seminar.
The seminar is a part of preparing for Finland's possible membership (2013-2014) in the UN Security Council. "Through this important seminar, Finland will have a better idea of how mediation can be promoted within the UN. Mediation will be an important theme, if Finland gets elected to the UN Security Council," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja.
Further information: Head of Unit for Communications Keijo Norvanto, tel. +358 9 1605 5836