15 OCTOBER 2008
|CONTRIUTE TO MARTTI AHTISAARI'S CRISIS MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE
How proud we are that our former colleague, Martti Ahtisaari, a realistic representative of the true U.N. culture,
has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
The unassuming, hard-working brilliant 71 year old Finn deserves what he just earned. Even more. His U.N. colleagues
since the days of Secretary General Perez de Ceullar, knew his full dedication to the culture of peace. His role in
the transition to independence of Namibia was a landmark achievement, not only for him personally, but to the U.N.
Whether as President of Finland, or as a Special U.N. senior official or envoy, Martti Ahtisaari cared for people -- their
dignity and their welfare. He would not hesitate to travel anywhere he thought there was a glimmer of hope in arranging
for peace. We teased him a lot, particularly as he insisted on going for mediation in the Horn of Africa, a very
intricate area where he had no real chance. He went anyway. And tried. Martti always tries. He is always
ready to go. "There's always Ahtisaari," the Financial Times once quipped. To find one man with so much
devotion to the culture of peace is so heartwarming in our increasingly cruel world.
The best tribute to our Nobel Laureate is the most practical one. Contribute to his foundation: Crisis Management
Initiative. No doubt, he will be using the Prize's money of $1.42 million for that purpose. But as he so aptly and
clearly put it: "You need financing and you never have enough."
That's the point. All these "U.N." funds (especially Ted Turner's) and others who recruited our winning colleague for assignments
and tasks through his long devoted career could show their support by a contribution, however symbolic, to his