Finland’s Maarti Ahtisaari says he is delighted to have won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. The former Finnish president most recently led negotiations over the future of Kosovo. He made it clear he has always hoped he might win the prestigious prize one day.
“I’m extremely pleased, because we have been sitting in front of the television on a number of occasions and it has not been my turn, so I am grateful to the Nobel committee for their decision because hopefully this will facilitate my future work,” said Ahtisaari.
He added that he was most proud of his role in securing independence for Namibia, and the successful peace talks between Free Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government, back in 2005, which he spearheaded through his own non-governmental organisation, CMI.
The Nobel Committee said the 30-year veteran of international politics was a natural choice.
“Through all his adult life as a senior Finnish public servant and president, or in an international capacity, often connected to the United Nations, Maarti Athisaari has worked hard to resolve several serious and long-lasting conflicts.”
Ahtisaari has not yet said what he intends to do with the prize money of a little over one million euros.