Seen from left: Mrs. Lucia Cuadrado, Hon. Harry Berner, Dean of the Consular Corps of Helsinki, Hon. Arnold Foote, President of the World Federation of Consuls H. E. President Martti Ahtisaari, Hon Amarkai Amarteifio, Vice President, Hon. Virachai Techavijit, Chairman FICAC East Asia Region and Hon. Costas Lefkaritis, Director
President Ahtisaari, the keynote speaker at the dinner, was welcomed and introduced by the Dean of the Consular Corps of Helsinki, Hon. Harry Berner. He described the President as a very good friend of his and said that he was very pleased to be able to welcome this distinguished person who has done so much for peace in so many places of conflict in our world.
His Excellency Martti Ahtisaari is a former President of Finland (1994-2000) and a United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work. His most recent appointment was as UN Special Envoy at the Kosovo status process negotiations, aimed at resolving a long-running dispute in Kosovo which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.
President Ahtisaari was appointed an honorary Namibian citizen. South Africa gave him the O R Tambo Award for “his outstanding achievement as a diplomat and commitment to the cause of freedom in Africa and peace in the world” President Martti Ahtisaari, in his address, spoke at length about his life and work in many countries around the world, and on account of this, he has made many friends in so many places.
The subject matter that was important to him was of course, peace in the world. President Ahtisaari went on to say that all people should have the means for at least a bearable life. President Ahtisaari continued by saying that too many people are still hungry and without potable water.
Ahtisaari pointed out that every 12 – 16 year period another billion people inhabit this earth of ours, making it very difficult to eradicate poverty. President Ahtisaari mentioned that one positive action that has been taken in order to reduce poverty is the development fund established by the Arab Emirates. This institution is working for the benefit of Africa and other 3rd world countries where circumstances are difficult and the people are in need of support.