Martti Ahtisaari, the 71-year-old former Finnish president, will be presented with Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday for his work in peace negotiating.
Here are some key facts on Ahtisaari:
* THE AWARD:
-- The Nobel prize committee said that Ahtisaari won this year's award for his efforts on several continents and over more than three decades to resolve international conflicts. These efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to "fraternity between nations" in Alfred Nobel's spirit.
* WHAT HE HAS DONE RECENTLY:
-- Until March last year Ahtisaari mediated Serb-Albanian talks on Kosovo as the EU's envoy. He was the architect of a EU-backed plan for Kosovo independence, which was opposed by Serbia and its ally Russia, but has been recogised by more than 50 states.
-- Acting as point man for the European Union, in 1999 Ahtisaari persuaded then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept NATO's terms for ending the Kosovo air campaign. The work earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
-- He had bowed out of national politics in 2000 to work with international organisations promoting peace and crisis resolution, accepting projects in Northern Ireland, the Horn of Africa and other hotspots of the world.
-- Five years later, in 2005, he returned to the international spotlight when he organised talks between Indonesia's government and the Free Aceh Movement, who signed a peace deal in August to end a 30-year uprising.
-- Ahtisaari investigated security at the United Nations after the August 2003 car bombing in Iraq that devastated the U.N.'s Baghdad headquarters.
* SOME LIFE DETAILS:
-- Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari was born on June 23, 1937, in the city of Viipuri, a town that Finland ceded to the Soviet Union at end of the Second World War. He graduated from the University of Oulu in 1959 and joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 1965.
-- Ahtisaari served in numerous jobs as a diplomat representing his own government and subsequently at the United Nations, where his highest rank was Under-Secretary General for Administration and Management in 1987-1991.
-- Ahtisaari also helped to supervise Namibia's move toward independence from South Africa in 1977-1981, playing a key role in ensuring a smooth transition through free and fair elections. In appreciation, the government of Namibia made him an honorary citizen. He also has served as an independent arms inspector in Northern Ireland's peace process.
-- During his 1994-2000 term as president of Finland, he led the country into the European Union and euro zone, becoming known as a no-nonsense statesman at ease with world affairs.
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