An initiative by Finland and Turkey to strengthen United Nations peace mediation is gaining momentum, according to Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja (SDP) and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday.
The two are hosting a group of Friends of Peace Mediation at the UN in New York. The group comprises 25 UN member states and seven regional organisations. The group was set up a year ago by Davutoglu and Tuomioja’s predecessor Alexander Stubb.
The project is one of the most conspicuous peace initiatives that Finland has been involved in for several years. Finland hopes to be able to strengthen its image as an ambassador of peace mediation.
Earlier this reputation has been enhanced for Finland by international conferences held in Finland as well as the mediation work by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.
The project has also helped Finland raise its profile among UN member states. Finland is hoping to be approved as a member of the UN Security Council for 2013-2014.
A resolution on peace mediation, which was proposed by Finland and Turkey, was passed in June at the General Assembly. The resolution urges member states to request for UN peace mediation, when necessary, and offers better possibilities for getting such help.
On Tuesday Tuomioja said that moves are now underway to boost the role of regional organisations, and of women in peace mediation work.
“Wise men are good at solving problems that wise women would never have caused in the first place”, Tuomioja said.