Norway's Nobel committee tapped former Finnish president and peace advocate
Martti Ahtisaari as this year's peace laureate. Lisa Bryant has more on the
71-year-old politician - and his distinguished career.
committee praised Martti Ahtisaari for his efforts to help secure peace in a
number of conflict torn countries during his lengthy career as U.N. diplomat,
Finnish president and later, peace activist with his organization, the Crisis
Over the past 20 years, the Nobel statement said,
Ahtisaari has played a prominent role in resolving serious and long-lasting
conflicts in Namibia, Indonesia, Kosovo and Iraq - among other areas.
an interview on Norwegian television, Ahtisaari cited peace talks in 1989-1990
in the southwestern African nation of Namibia as his greatest achievement. Those
talks helped pave the way for Namibia's independence from south
Ahtisaari began his career as a school teacher before joining
Finland's foreign ministry. He served as a United Nations undersecretary and
secretary of state for the Finnish foreign ministry before being elected
president of Finland in 1994.
Ahtisaari founded the Crisis Management
Initiative in 2000. The Helsinki-based non-profit organization provides
solutions for ending conflicts around the world.
Vice-President Al Gore won last year's Nobel peace prize along with the U.N.
panel on climate change for their work on raising attention to the threat of