Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari was elected the President of the Republic of Finland in 1994. He held the position until the end of February 2000.
During his term steered Finland through its accession to the European Union, amongst many other important developments. Upon leaving the office, Ahtisaari has had several major international assignments, continuing his previous work in international peace-mediation and conflict resolution. These post-presidential activities have included inspection of IRA's arms dumps, chairing an independent panel on the security and safety of UN personnel in Iraq, appointments as the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and Personal Envoy of the OSCE CiO for Central Asia and facilitating the peace process between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement. Between 2005 and 2008, Mr. Ahtisaari acted as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo.
On December 10th, 2008, Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The award was for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts.
President Ahtisaari continues to be active in numerous non-governmental and non-profit organisations. As his main activities he is the Chairman of the Board of the Crisis Management Initiative (an NGO he has founded), Chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey, member of the Elders, Co-Chair in European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), member of the Silatech Board of Trustees and member of the Prize Committee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
He has received numerous recognitions (Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award, Tribute of Appreciation by the Department of State of the USA, UNESCO Peace Prize, Honorary Citizenship of Namibia) and holds several Honorary Degrees from various universities all over the world.