Finnish Parliament to put Ahtisaari forward for Nobel Peace Prize
The Finnish Parliament plans to propose Martti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland, as a candidate for next year's Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to securing peace in Indonesia's embattled Aceh Province.
Negotiations mediated by Ahtisaari led to the signing of the peace treaty in mid-August between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a group fighting for the independence of Aceh.
The signed treaty puts an end to almost 30 years of violence between the two sides.
According to Liisa Jaakonsaari (SDP), chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament, the committee will address the issue of nominating Ahtisaari in early September when Parliament reconvenes for the autumn session.
Ahtisaari's nomination was first reported by a group of Central Finland newspapers.
"We will suggest Ahtisaari because of his international merits. In this time of worry and conflicts he has been exemplary in promoting peaceful rapprochements", Jaakonsaari argued on Wednesday.
In Jaakonsaari's understanding, anybody can put forward a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee starts requesting nominations in September.
Ahtisaari has been nominated twice before, in 2000 and 2001.
His previous nominations were on the strength of his credits in securing the independence of Namibia and resolving the Kosovo crisis.
No Finn has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, which has been awarded since 1901. Its monetary value is slightly over EUR one million.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Thousands in Aceh celebrate as peace treaty is signed in Helsinki (16.8.2005)
Finnish observers to be first into Aceh to monitor peace (15.8.2005)
Nobel Peace Prize