October 16, 2023
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD comments on the death of Martti Ahtisaari

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has today paid tribute to the former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari who passed away today.

Mr Ahtisaari played a key role in the Irish Peace Process as co-chair of the IICD and was deeply involved in conflict resolution processes across the world.

Ms McDonald said:

“I was saddened to hear the news this morning of the passing of former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari and on behalf of Sinn Féin I extend our condolences to his family and the Finnish people.

“In a diplomatic career spanning six decades Martti Ahtisaari stuck faithfully to the principle that no conflict was intractable or unsolvable and that all conflicts could be resolved through dialogue.

“He brought these core principles to resolving conflicts in Africa, Asia and Europe and of course played a key role in the Irish Peace Process as co-chair of the IICD.

“At a time when Israel is laying siege to the people of Gaza and in the wake of Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israel last weekend European and world diplomacy needs to learn the lessons of Martti Ahtisaari’s lifetime of work in conflict resolution.

“Now is the time for a ceasefire, now is the time for the international community not to be partisan but to put in place a genuine process of dialogue between the Palestinians and Israel and for a settlement to be reached which accommodates the obvious need for a viable Palestinian State.

“On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008, Mr Ahtisaari said ‘Peace is a question of will, All conflicts can be settled, and there are no excuses for allowing them to become eternal’. That message needs to be heard this week by the international community and a clear call for the demand for peace in Palestine must be made.”

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