Keynote Address by President Martti Ahtisaari “Opportunities and challenges“
Singapore, 4 June 2009
Mr. Minister, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Asian Mediation Association for inviting me to address this
distinguished audience. I warmly welcome this conference and its aims to further the
knowledge and professionalism of mediation activities.
Asia can be described as a divided continent in terms of peace and security. Some parts are
extremely prosperous and stable, but there are unfortunately also areas with ongoing
conflicts. My intention today is to speak about the challenges and opportunities of peace
mediation in Asia and I will discuss of three cases - examples of the successes and the
failures of peace mediation in Asia.
I will begin with the successful mediation case from Aceh, Indonesia, where we have
witnessed four encouragingly successful years after the signing of the peace agreement in
August 2005 in Finland. In other places, there remain severe challenges. Burma/Myanmar
is still very much an unwritten page in terms of mediation. It is of vital importance that the
international community takes a close look at the situation and actively seeks for solutions.
I would also like to express my profound concern over the situation in Sri Lanka in the
aftermath of the long civil war.
In summing I will introduce few principles from my experience hoping that they trigger
thinking and discussion during this conference and beyond.
There has been many analysis and explanations on the success of the Aceh peace process.
One of the most common explanations has been that the tsunami that hit Aceh with its
tragic consequences was the key factor behind the peace. Of course the effects of this
traumatic incident cannot be underestimated, but even before the tsunami contacts had
been established between the parties. The issue was introduced to me in late 2004.
In January 2005, the newly elected Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh
Movement, GAM, met in Helsinki to talk about the conflict that had lasted for almost 30
years. From the beginning of the talks I had a feeling that I was surrounded by people who
realized that they had in their hands the power to stop further suffering of the Acehnese
people. During the negotiations trust and confidence were gained gradually. Our starting
point of the negotiations was “A peaceful solution with dignity for all.” We had an
extremely crucial principle in the Aceh negotiations that I introduced: “nothing is agreed
before everything is agreed”. This meant that neither party could claim any victories during
the process and use media to communicate their constituencies how successful they had
been in the negotiations in all issues that were important for them. All the agreements
were included in the Memorandum of Understanding and published only in the end. This
gave peace for the negotiators to work. I admired the discipline of both parties in this
What was agreed (Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Indonesia
and the Free Aceh Movement)?
1 Governing of Aceh
1.1 Law on the Governing of Aceh
1.1.1 A new Law on the Governing of Aceh will be promulgated and will enter
into force as soon as possible and not later than 31 March 2006.
1.1.2 The new Law on the Governing of Aceh will be based on the following
a) Aceh will exercise authority within all sectors of public affairs, which will
be administered in conjunction with its civil and judicial administration,
except in the fields of foreign affairs, external defence, national security,
monetary and fiscal matters, justice and freedom of religion, the policies of
which belong to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in conformity
with the Constitution.
b) International agreements entered into by the Government of Indonesia
which relate to matters of special interest to Aceh will be entered into in
consultation with and with the consent of the legislature of Aceh.
c) Decisions with regard to Aceh by the legislature of the Republic of
Indonesia will be taken in consultation with and with the consent of the
legislature of Aceh.
d) Administrative measures undertaken by the Government of Indonesia
with regard to Aceh will be implemented in consultation with and with the
consent of the head of the Aceh administration.
1.1.3 The name of Aceh and the titles of senior elected officials will be determined by the
legislature of Aceh after the next elections.
1.1.4 The borders of Aceh correspond to the borders as of 1 July 1956.
1.1.5 Aceh has the right to use regional symbols including a flag, a crest and a hymn.
1.1.6 Kanun Aceh will be re-established for Aceh respecting the historical traditions
and customs of the people of Aceh and reflecting contemporary legal requirements
1.1.7 The institution of Wali Nanggroe with all its ceremonial attributes and entitlements
will be established.
1.2 Political participation
1.2.1 As soon as possible and not later than one year from the signing of this
MoU, GoI agrees to and will facilitate the establishment of Aceh-based
political parties that meet national criteria. Understanding the aspirations of
Acehnese people for local political parties, GoI will create, within one year or
at the latest 18 months from the signing of this MoU, the political and legal
conditions for the establishment of local political parties in Aceh in
consultation with Parliament. The timely implementation of this MoU will
contribute positively to this end.
1.2.2 Upon the signature of this MoU, the people of Aceh will have the right to
nominate candidates for the positions of all elected officials to contest the
elections in Aceh in April 2006 and thereafter.
1.2.3 Free and fair local elections will be organised under the new Law on the
Governing of Aceh to elect the head of the Aceh administration and other
elected officials in April 2006 as well as the legislature of Aceh in 2009.
1.2.4 Until 2009 the legislature of Aceh will not be entitled to enact any laws without the
consent of the head of the Aceh administration.
1.2.5 All Acehnese residents will be issued new conventional identity cards prior to the
elections of April 2006.
1.2.6 Full participation of all Acehnese people in local and national elections will be
guaranteed in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.
1.2.7 Outside monitors will be invited to monitor the elections in Aceh. Local
elections may be undertaken with outside technical assistance.
1.2.8 There will be full transparency in campaign funds.
1.3.1 Aceh has the right to raise funds with external loans. Aceh has the right to set interest
rates beyond that set by the Central Bank of the Republic of Indonesia.
1.3.2 Aceh has the right to set and raise taxes to fund official internal activities. Aceh has
the right to conduct trade and business internally and internationally and to seek foreign
direct investment and tourism to Aceh.
1.3.3 Aceh will have jurisdiction over living natural resources in the territorial
sea surrounding Aceh.
1.3.4 Aceh is entitled to retain seventy (70) per cent of the revenues from all
current and future hydrocarbon deposits and other natural resources in the
territory of Aceh as well as in the territorial sea surrounding Aceh.
1.3.5 Aceh conducts the development and administration of all seaports and airports
within the territory of Aceh.
1.3.6 Aceh will enjoy free trade with all other parts of the Republic of Indonesia
unhindered by taxes, tariffs or other restrictions.
1.3.7 Aceh will enjoy direct and unhindered access to foreign countries, by sea and air.
1.3.8 GoI commits to the transparency of the collection and allocation of
revenues between the Central Government and Aceh by agreeing to outside
auditors to verify this activity and to communicate the results to the head of
the Aceh administration.
1.3.9 GAM will nominate representatives to participate fully at all levels in the commission
established to conduct the post-tsunami reconstruction (BRR).
1.4 Rule of law
1.4.1 The separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary will
1.4.2 The legislature of Aceh will redraft the legal code for Aceh on the basis of
the universal principles of human rights as provided for in the United Nations
International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights.
1.4.3 An independent and impartial court system, including a court of appeals, will be
established for Aceh within the judicial system of the Republic of Indonesia.
1.4.4 The appointment of the Chief of the organic police forces and the
prosecutors shall be approved by the head of the Aceh administration. The
recruitment and training of organic police forces and prosecutors will take
place in consultation with and with the consent of the head of the Aceh
administration in compliance with the applicable national standards.
1.4.5 All civilian crimes committed by military personnel in Aceh will be tried
in civil courts in Aceh.
2 Human rights
2.1 GoI will adhere to the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political
Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
2.2 A Human Rights Court will be established for Aceh.
2.3 A Commission for Truth and Reconciliation will be established for Aceh by
the Indonesian Commission of Truth and Reconciliation with the task of
formulating and determining reconciliation measures.
3 Amnesty and reintegration into society
3.1.1 GoI will, in accordance with constitutional procedures, grant amnesty to
all persons who have participated in GAM activities as soon as possible and
not later than within15 days of the signature of this MoU.
3.1.2 Political prisoners and detainees held due to the conflict will be released
unconditionally as soon as possible and not later than within 15 days of the
signature of this MoU.
3.1.3 The Head of the Monitoring Mission will decide on disputed cases based
on advice from the legal advisor of the Monitoring Mission.
3.1.4 Use of weapons by GAM personnel after the signature of this MoU will be
regarded as a violation of the MoU and will disqualify the person from
3.2 Reintegration into society
3.2.1 As citizens of the Republic of Indonesia, all persons having been granted
amnesty or released from prison or detention will have all political, economic
and social rights as well as the right to participate freely in the political
process both in Aceh and on the national level.
3.2.2 Persons who during the conflict have renounced their citizenship of the
Republic of Indonesia will have the right to regain it.
3.2.3 GoI and the authorities of Aceh will take measures to assist persons who
have participated in GAM activities to facilitate their reintegration into the
These measures include economic facilitation to former combatants,
pardoned political prisoners and affected civilians. A Reintegration Fund
under the administration of the authorities of Aceh will be established.
3.2.4 GoI will allocate funds for the rehabilitation of public and private
property destroyed or damaged as a consequence of the conflict to be
administered by the authorities of Aceh.
3.2.5 GoI will allocate suitable farming land as well as funds to the authorities
of Aceh for the purpose of facilitating the reintegration to society of the
former combatants and the compensation for political prisoners and affected
civilians. The authorities of Aceh will use the land and funds as follows:
a) All former combatants will receive an allocation of suitable farming land,
employment or, in the case of incapacity to work, adequate social security
from the authorities of Aceh.
b) All pardoned political prisoners will receive an allocation of suitable
farming land, employment or, in the case of incapacity to work, adequate
social security from the authorities of Aceh.
c) All civilians who have suffered a demonstrable loss due to the conflict will
receive an allocation of suitable farming land, employment or, in the case of
incapacity to work, adequate social security from the authorities of Aceh.
3.2.6 The authorities of Aceh and GoI will establish a joint Claims Settlement Commission
to deal with unmet claims.
3.2.7 GAM combatants will have the right to seek employment in the organic
police and organic military forces in Aceh without discrimination and in
conformity with national standards.
4 Security arrangements
4.1 All acts of violence between the parties will end latest at the time of the signing of
4.2 GAM undertakes to demobilise all of its 3000 military troops. GAM
members will not wear uniforms or display military insignia or symbols after
the signing of this MoU.
4.3 GAM undertakes the decommissioning of all arms, ammunition and
explosives held by the participants in GAM activities with the assistance of the
Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM). GAM commits to hand over 840 arms.
4.4 The decommissioning of GAM armaments will begin on 15 September
2005 and will be executed in four stages and concluded by 31 December 2005.
4.5 GoI will withdraw all elements of non-organic military and non-organic
police forces from Aceh.
4.6 The relocation of non-organic military and non-organic police forces will begin on
15 September 2005 and will be executed in four stages in parallel with the GAM
decommissioning immediately after each stage has been verified by the AMM, and
concluded by 31 December 2005.
4.7 The number of organic military forces to remain in Aceh after the
relocation is 14700. The number of organic police forces to remain in Aceh
after the relocation is 9100.
4.8 There will be no major movements of military forces after the signing of
this MoU. All movements more than a platoon size will require prior
notification to the Head of the Monitoring Mission.
4.9 GoI undertakes the decommissioning of all illegal arms, ammunition and
explosives held by any possible illegal groups and parties.
4.10 Organic police forces will be responsible for upholding internal law and
order in Aceh.
4.11 Military forces will be responsible for upholding external defence of
Aceh. In normal peacetime circumstances, only organic military forces will be
present in Aceh.
4.12 Members of the Aceh organic police force will receive special training in Aceh and
overseas with emphasis on respect for human rights.
5 Establishment of the Aceh Monitoring Mission
5.1 An Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) will be established by the European
Union and ASEAN contributing countries with the mandate to monitor the
implementation of the commitments taken by the parties in this
Memorandum of Understanding.
5.2 The tasks of the AMM are to:
a) monitor the demobilisation of GAM and decommissioning of its
b) monitor the relocation of non-organic military forces and non-organic
c) monitor the reintegration of active GAM members,
d) monitor the human rights situation and provide assistance in this field,
e) monitor the process of legislation change,
f) rule on disputed amnesty cases,
g) investigate and rule on complaints and alleged violations of the MoU,
h) establish and maintain liaison and good cooperation with the parties.
5.3 A Status of Mission Agreement (SoMA) between GoI and the European Union will be
signed after this MoU has been signed. The SoMA defines the status, privileges and
immunities of the AMM and its members. ASEAN contributing countries which have been
invited by GoI will confirm in writing their acceptance of and compliance with the SoMA.
5.4 GoI will give all its support for the carrying out of the mandate of the AMM. To this
end, GoI will write a letter to the European Union and ASEAN contributing countries
expressing its commitment and support to the AMM.
5.5 GAM will give all its support for the carrying out of the mandate of the AMM. To this
end, GAM will write a letter to the European Union and ASEAN contributing countries
expressing its commitment and support to the AMM.
5.6 The parties commit themselves to provide AMM with secure, safe and stable working
conditions and pledge their full cooperation with the AMM.
5.7 Monitors will have unrestricted freedom of movement in Aceh. Only those tasks which
are within the provisions of the MoU will be accepted by the AMM. Parties do not have a
veto over the actions or control of the AMM operations.
5.8 GoI is responsible for the security of all AMM personnel in Indonesia. The mission
personnel do not carry arms. The Head of Monitoring Mission may however decide on an
exceptional basis that a patrol will not be escorted by GoI security forces. In that
case, GoI will be informed and the GoI will not assume responsibility for the security of
5.9 GoI will provide weapons collection points and support mobile weapons collection
teams in collaboration with GAM.
5.10 Immediate destruction will be carried out after the collection of weapons
and ammunitions. This process will be fully documented and publicized as
5.11 AMM reports to the Head of Monitoring Mission who will provide regular reports to
the parties and to others as required, as well as to a designated person or office in the
European Union and ASEAN contributing countries.
5.12 Upon signature of this MoU each party will appoint a senior representative to deal
with all matters related to the implementation of this MoU with the Head of Monitoring
5.13 The parties commit themselves to a notification responsibility procedure to the AMM,
including military and reconstruction issues.
5.14 GoI will authorise appropriate measures regarding emergency medical service and
hospitalisation for AMM personnel.
5.15 In order to facilitate transparency, GoI will allow full access for the representatives
ofnational and international media to Aceh.
6 Dispute settlement
6.1 In the event of disputes regarding the implementation of this MoU, these
will beresolved promptly as follows:
a) As a rule, eventual disputes concerning the implementation of this MoU
will be resolved by the Head of Monitoring Mission, in dialogue with the
parties, with all parties providing required information immediately. The
Head of Monitoring Mission will make a ruling which will be binding on the
b) If the Head of Monitoring Mission concludes that a dispute cannot be
resolved by the means described above, the dispute will be discussed together
by the Head of Monitoring Mission with the senior representative of each
party. Following this, the Head of Monitoring Mission will make a ruling
which will be binding on the parties.
c) In cases where disputes cannot be resolved by either of the means
described above, the Head of Monitoring Mission will report directly to the
Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Affairs of the Republic
of Indonesia, the political leadership of GAM and the Chairman of the Board
of Directors of the Crisis Management Initiative, with the EU Political and
Security Committee informed. After consultation with the parties, the
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Crisis Management Initiative will
make a ruling which will be binding on the parties.
It is essential to understand that trust can only be created if one party sees the other
keeping its promises and to do as was agreed. I made it clear to both parties that if genuine
peace is the goal; both sides have to be prepared to make concessions. Looking back at the
situation, it is evident that both sides actually gained much more than they had to give up.
I was assisted in the Aceh peace negotiations by a non-governmental organization called
the Crisis Management Initiative, CMI, which I established after my Presidency in 2000.
CMI’s efforts would not have been possible without a solid backing from the international
community. The Aceh peace agreement would not have been possible without the
combined efforts of many different actors: the European Union and ASEAN countries,
several supporting governments, local civil society, research organisations and
international NGOs whose expertise CMI used in several occasions. The official, Track One
diplomacy, while not in the forefront in the negotiation process, provided invaluable
support during the negotiations, and emerged as the leading track during the peace
The peace process in Aceh has also shown how important it is that a country’s political
leadership is committed to finding a solution to an internal conflict. Joint efforts by the
political leadership in Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement resulted in a peace
agreement. However, it was only a start. Social and economic reforms can only progress if
both negotiating parties and the population at large are committed to them in the long
term. This year we witnessed relatively peaceful elections which allowed local party
participation for the first time in Indonesia. Partai Aceh, the party born as a successor
party of Free Aceh Movement, won 43 per cent of votes. Now it is up to them to lead the
work with others on building a prosperous Aceh within Indonesia.
In 2005 the parties confirmed their commitment to a peaceful, comprehensive and
sustainable solution to the conflict in Aceh with dignity for all. During the last four years
Aceh has clearly stepped out of the wheel of violence. But we should not fool ourselves –
the commitment to peace means hard choices every day. The often quoted World Bank
study notes that “a country coming out of civil war has a 50 percent chance of relapsing
into conflict in the first five years of peace”. I do not want to see Aceh as a part of those
statistics. What makes me particularly happy is the active civil society in Aceh that has
been of vital importance in the peace building and the democratisation processes. It is my
sincere hope that the Acehnese civil society will get the support it needs from the
My own commitment in the peace process still continues and I visit Indonesia and Aceh at
least once a year.
Now I would like to move on to Burma/Myanmar which, as mentioned, is in quite a
different phase of development. Even though I’m very well aware of the discussion and all
emotions related to the country’s name, in this speech, I will use the present official name
of the country, Myanmar.
The suppression of the Saffron Revolution by the government, the devastating effects of
the Cyclone Nargis, the exodus of the Rohingya people, and the famine in the Chin State
are all tragedies that have touched the international community. Sympathy towards the
people of Myanmar, together with a principled conviction that the people of the country
have the right to a state that could be an instrument for their wellbeing are the two driving
forces of the international communities‘ action relating to Myanmar.
This sympathy and principle provide a good starting point, but in order to contribute to
positive outcomes, the international community has to have a well thought, clear strategy
to follow. My thinking on Myanmar is based on four strategic cornerstones:
1. Firstly, I think dialogue with all relevant forces, including the government, is
necessary regardless of whether we consider these forces are legitimate or not. Peace
must be made with the parties that can deliver it. The dialogue is important, but it
should not be seen as a reward for a good behaviour, but as an unconditional
requirement to achieve positive developments. Many countries find
cooperation with undemocratic regimes difficult as these regimes do not really
represent the nation and its people. Some even say that we should not endorse the
illegitimate government in Myanmar by engaging them and thus acting as if they were
the legitimate government.
I do not agree with this line of argumentation.
The fact that Myanmar is in the middle of several transition processes that the
government is essentially in control of, makes dialogue with the government even more
important. At the time of generational transition of the leadership, at the time of at
least a fundamental declaratory political system transition, and at the time when
most probably the majority of cabinet ministers are about to change within a year, there
could be opportunities that should at least be explored. Since the government can do a
lot to help its people - or harm them, if they so choose – it is a meaningful actor that
needs to be taken into account.
2. Secondly, we should be willing to endorse and support dialogue between the
government and the groups that have so far remained outside the
constitutional process, regardless of whose initiative such dialogue is.
We should not only talk to the government and other relevant parties, but we should
help reconciliation between relevant political forces, the government and the
opposition, including the ethno-national groups. This does not mean jumping into the
pocket of the government. On the contrary, we should naturally also support
progressive initiatives of the opposition. The focus of our attention should not be on
“who does”, but on “what is being done”. In order to alleviate the suffering of the people
and to help the population, we should actively identify opportunities that each of the
transition processes entails, instead of just focusing on whether a certain transition
process is legitimate or not, or whether it will bring about perfect solutions or only
small steps in the right direction.
3. Thirdly, in addition to supporting processes outside the government’s constitutional
framework, supporting progressive developments inside the government’s
constitutional setting is needed. This would not constitute supporting or
endorsing all the aspects of the government constitution, but just some. In a study
made by our organisation, the Crisis Management Initiative, for the European
Commission on the constitutional quarrels in Myanmar, we discovered that many of
concerns of the opposition about the constitution were related to the implementation of
the constitution, rather than to the text of the constitution. To contribute to the
solution of the problem of implementing promised democratic openings, more
sophisticated diplomatic tools needs to be developed. The time of all-out-support or allout-
opposition as strategic options is over.
Dear friends, I am not a naïve person and I know that the political practice and
implementation of the Constitution could turn out differently than central figures of the
government have described. But instead of just being a realist who predicts events
accurately, I want to seek opportunities to contribute to the progress, and ways to
support the government’s own progressive initiatives - if they are there - in a
4. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, addressing the needs of the people requires
effective poverty alleviation and concrete strategies for economic and
human development. Well-being of the people is a precondition for a
longer-term peace and security. It also needs to be underscored that this
work cannot be done in a vacuum, but needs – once again – dialogue and
cooperation between the country and the international community. What
is more, Myanmar needs better governance, which requires the
development of its administrative capacity. This should be noted when
planning a strategy for direct and constructive engagement. We have to
find ways to support any positive and gradual developments in the country.
In the course of the Sri Lankan conflict, my Sri Lankan friends have kept me informed
about the situation and I have raised the issue in many of my discussions. Last week I met
the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who visited Sri Lanka just before our
meeting in Finland, and discussed what can be done. Sri Lanka has suffered a devastating
civil war for the past 25 years.
During the recent phase of the conflict, the Sri Lankan government and military were
pushing for a military solution and final victory. It seems that to some degree they have
reached their goal.
This, however, cannot be considered as an end state or an end of the conflict. In order to
secure what the government may have succeeded militarily, they have to take the needs
and demands of the Tamil population into consideration. They have to start a
reconciliation process where the Tamils are treated equally as citizens of Sri Lankan state,
not as the defeated party of the civil war. Reintegration of the Tamil minority into the
society is of utmost importance. Otherwise the situation will risk to slide back to armed
struggle or terrorist attacks as we have seen previously. There is a need for a dialogue at all
levels of the society and it is vital that the rights of all groups and every individual are
One should not forget the alarming situation of the civilians in Sri Lanka. There is a huge
need for humanitarian aid as there are up to 300 000 internally displaced persons that
have had to leave their homes due to the fighting. International community has and is
pushing the government of Sri Lanka to manage the situation which had also been
described to be violating many international conventions. The UN and other agencies
should be given unrestricted access to the IDP camps.
In Sri Lanka, even though the guns are silenced, there is a long path to follow to peace. Sri
Lanka needs all our support.
To summarise, I would like to raise few points that I consider to be important in peace
My first point concerns context: The role of a mediator must be understood as being only
one part of a peace process. One can compare the role of a Mediator to that of a midwife:
we can assist the parties to come to a peace agreement, but the child – peace – is owned by
the parties. Sometimes such a process can take years. The conditions for peace need to be
It should also be acknowledged that a peace agreement is just a beginning. Post
conflict reconciliation is an equally vital part of the peace process. The hard work only
begins after a peace agreement has been signed.
Secondly I would strongly argue that every peace process is unique and different
situations need different approaches. This, however, is not to say that we could not
learn from past peace processes. In fact I believe that successful conflict resolution
inspires others in conflict to be courageous and to embark on the path of
peacemaking. I believe Namibian peace process inspired South Africans to begin the
process of democratic change.
My third point concerns values. People consistently ask me what a good mediator is. As
each conflict and each mediator is unique, this is a question that is not easy to answer. The
answer is: it depends. The most important resources that a mediator can rely on
are his or her own values. These values come from our upbringing and our beliefs,
some of which maybe culturally bound, but many of which are universal. An important
question is how to reconcile the values and principles of justice with those of peace. Peace
and justice are not and cannot be opposites.
Nevertheless, we have seen specific cases, where mediators face very real dilemmas
concerning the scope of peace agreements and their relation to international law. My own
personal view is based on my experience as a mediator not as a jurist. And a mediator is
not a prosecutor. Certainly no blanket amnesties for genocide, war crimes and crimes
against humanity are acceptable but local solutions must be allowed to emerge and develop
to allow reconciliation.
Fourthly, we need to open our minds when resolving conflicts. In peace
mediation we very often deal with internal conflicts. Therefore the very principle of
sovereignty is usually at stake. In the case of Aceh, Indonesian government turned to
CMI instead of United Nations because they did not want to internationalise the conflict
and regarded it as an internal issue.
Lastly I would like us to take a look at the future. Today, mediation is usually carried out
by seasoned and experienced practitioners. We must now cultivate the future generation of
peace-makers. Whilst my generation has practiced mediation more as an art, we should
support its systematization, based on the understanding of needs. I know from my
experience that a mediation process has many and in most crucial times technical aspects
that the mediator alone cannot manage him or herself. The more readily available and
tailored instruments and expertise we have, the more efficient we are. Mediation is a skill.
There are outstanding young professionals in this field whom we need to mentor and give
them an opportunity to practice, learn and build capacity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am seriously concerned about the large number of conflicts that the international
community has not been able to solve. We should never accept and allow that some
conflicts remain frozen forever, and in consequence people suffer. We have to be much
more result oriented. Sometimes I feel that we love the processes too much. Each
unresolved conflict is to be seen as a vital challenge. We must, together, learn from our
experiences: we need to reflect on our past efforts and capture them in a way that they can
be easily shared and we need to continuously improve ourselves. Peace-making is a process
of constant learning. Therefore the international community needs to invest in peacemaking
- this means more resources and more commitment.
All conflicts can and should be solved. No excuses should be accepted and we should
demand that our political leaders act accordingly.
I thank you.