Martti Ahtisaari – 1937 – 2023

October 16, 2023

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing on 16 October 2023 of the former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, who was also the Chair of Interpeace’s Governing Board from May 2000 through December 2009.

“President Ahtisaari will be greatly missed not only by his family but by all of us in multilateral diplomacy. Interpeace joins the international community in mourning his passing and I personally salute his achievements,” said Amre Moussa, Chair of the Interpeace Governing Board. 

“Martti joined the global Governing Board in a period of political upheaval in the peace and security landscape. Throughout his chairmanship, lasting nearly 10 years, his wisdom, insight and advice were instrumental in shaping the vision, mission and way forward for our organisation. His commitment to our values and peacebuilding programmes around the world was always enthusiastic and thoughtful,” said Matthias Stiefel, Founder and Vice-Chair of Interpeace. 

The world has lost a great international statesman today. Above all the accolades, President Ahtisaari embodied humility and a sense of what is just. Martti rooted his vision and pursuit of peace in universal human values. History books will tell of his extraordinary contribution to the advancement of peaceful cooperation within and between states and societies affected by conflict,” said Itonde Kakoma, President of Interpeace.

From everyone at Interpeace – our Governing Board and our staff – we extend our deepest condolences to President Ahtisaari’s family, friends and colleagues from his many walks of life. We especially extend our heartfelt sympathies to colleagues and friends at CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation.

We will remember him for these timeless words, which he delivered when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008: “Peace is a question of will. All conflicts can be settled, and there are no excuses for allowing them to become eternal.”