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President Of Finland Addresses K-School

By Jenny E. Heller, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari brought the perspective of a world leader adjusting to globalization since the Cold War to Harvard last night when he spoke to a full house at the Kennedy School of Government.

Using his own nation as an example, Ahtisaari explained that nations now obey a new protocol which demands a new kind of response.

"Global dialogue is urgently needed," Ahtisaari said. "Together we can contribute towards a better world for all."

The president emphasized the interdependence of countries--especially the United States and Europe--in this modern era when economic and political cooperation are necessary.

The president cited historical examples to back the theories.

"I think it is important to look at history...My wife is a history teacher," Ahtisaari said with a smile.

About 250 people attended the event in Star Auditorium, according to Harvard police.

Ahtisaari said that the world has been facing new security threats since the end of the Cold War, mostly from organized crime.

The president also said that the global economy has rapidly improved, which, FINLANDhe said, is paradoxically leading to an increase in unemployment and economic difficulties in some parts of the world.

"A great portion of the world is still deprived politically and economically.... Many have nutritional needs," Ahtisaari said.

Ahtisaari called on all developed countries and global businesses to help stimulate the economics of the developing world.

"Trade, not aid, is as valid an objective as ever... Protectionism has no future," the president said.

To further stimulate international development, Ahtisaari advocated international cooperation on issues such as disarmament and environmental protection.

The president named the United Nations as an organization that has the capacity to help underdeveloped countries.

"That the United Nations needs streamlining and needs to become more effective we all agree," Ahtisaari said. "It encourages me that the United States is moving toward providing the economic support to the UN that it owes."

Ahtisaari worked extensively with the UN throughout the 1980s and 1990s in many capacities.

The president praised Secretary General Kofi Annan for his work.

"He is the first secretary general in history who is a manager," Ahtisaari said in an interview after the speech.

"I have a very high regard for him... therefore I think he should be supported," Ahtisaari added.

The president advocated the further development and action of other international organizations, such as the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Ahtisaari praised the EU--which Finland joined in 1995--for promoting "peace, stability and prosperity."

Northern European countries need to provide resources, trade and defense for NATO and the EU, according to Ahtisaari. Although Finland is not a member of NATO, Ahtisaari emphasized the organization's importance.

The president said in the interview that he thinks it is important for NATO troops to remain in Bosnia beyond 1998, the established date for withdrawal.

Ahtisaari said the job of the international community is to promote cooperation between the political parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Ahtisaari was elected president of Finland in February 1994, the first president to be elected by popular vote rather than through the electoral college system. His term ends in 1999.

He said in the interview that he has been approached to run again in 1999 but has not yet made a decision.

A number of Finns who live in the area attended the speech.

"I have never seen the president live," said Saku P. Aura, a Finnish graduate student at MIT. "[I came] out of curiosity.

"A great portion of the world is still deprived politically and economically.... Many have nutritional needs," Ahtisaari said.

Ahtisaari called on all developed countries and global businesses to help stimulate the economics of the developing world.

"Trade, not aid, is as valid an objective as ever... Protectionism has no future," the president said.

To further stimulate international development, Ahtisaari advocated international cooperation on issues such as disarmament and environmental protection.

The president named the United Nations as an organization that has the capacity to help underdeveloped countries.

"That the United Nations needs streamlining and needs to become more effective we all agree," Ahtisaari said. "It encourages me that the United States is moving toward providing the economic support to the UN that it owes."

Ahtisaari worked extensively with the UN throughout the 1980s and 1990s in many capacities.

The president praised Secretary General Kofi Annan for his work.

"He is the first secretary general in history who is a manager," Ahtisaari said in an interview after the speech.

"I have a very high regard for him... therefore I think he should be supported," Ahtisaari added.

The president advocated the further development and action of other international organizations, such as the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Ahtisaari praised the EU--which Finland joined in 1995--for promoting "peace, stability and prosperity."

Northern European countries need to provide resources, trade and defense for NATO and the EU, according to Ahtisaari. Although Finland is not a member of NATO, Ahtisaari emphasized the organization's importance.

The president said in the interview that he thinks it is important for NATO troops to remain in Bosnia beyond 1998, the established date for withdrawal.

Ahtisaari said the job of the international community is to promote cooperation between the political parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Ahtisaari was elected president of Finland in February 1994, the first president to be elected by popular vote rather than through the electoral college system. His term ends in 1999.

He said in the interview that he has been approached to run again in 1999 but has not yet made a decision.

A number of Finns who live in the area attended the speech.

"I have never seen the president live," said Saku P. Aura, a Finnish graduate student at MIT. "[I came] out of curiosity.

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