Opening statement by Foreign Minister of Finland Timo Soini at the Meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation on 18th June 2018.
Finland and Indonesia are very proud to host the meeting of the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
The presence of you - Secretary-General Gueterres - and the experienced members of the Board make this event exceptional. We are proud that President Halonen is one of them. I believe it is vital for the future of mediation that experience is passed on to future mediators. In Western societies the knowledge by the so called senior citizens is often disregarded. We simply cannot afford this. We need to learn from our counterparts in Africa, Asia and Latin America where traditional or religious leaders are seldom youngsters. Success in mediation often relies on strong political experience. Politics is a tough school and, at its best, equips mediators with qualities and perspectives that are useful tools in mediation. Your work will be a real contribution to conflict prevention.
I commend you on your determination in reforming the United Nations. The world needs a transparent, accountable and efficient United Nations. You have our full support.
Putting prevention as THE priority was a clear message from you Mr Secretary-General.. Successful conflict prevention saves human lives and financial resources. Mediation and preventive diplomacy efforts need to be strengthened. As you have said preventing conflicts should be a priority - rather than fixing the damage afterwards. This will require a whole new approach to sustaining peace.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mediation is a strategic priority of the Finnish foreign policy. Our approach to mediation is holistic: It includes conflict prevention, promotion of national dialogues and inclusive participation of civil society actors in peace processes. We emphasize the participation of women and youth, as well as traditional and religious leaders, where appropriate.
Sustainable peace requires involvement of a wide range of actors representing different parts of society.
Also young people have a lot to offer to building peace and resilience in their societies. Youth, Peace and Security is an important theme for Finland. We are glad to be the first country in the world to initiate a process to formulate a National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250. I also had a pleasure to host Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, last April. I look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Office of the Special Envoy in the future as well.
With these words, once again, I want to warmly welcome you in Helsinki and wish you a fruitful meeting.