Friedmann Award to Be Presented to Peace Broker Martti Ahtisaari
Columbia Journal of Transnational Law Pays Tribute to Nobel Laureate Ahtisaari for His Outstanding Career as a Settler of Conflicts
New York, March 17, 2016—Martti Ahtisaari—the former president of Finland, United Nations diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate—will receive the 42nd annual Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award from the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law at a March 30 banquet in Manhattan’s ‘21’ Club.
The next day Ahtisaari will appear at the Columbia Society of International Law’s annual Friedmann Conference to speak about his work in international peace mediation, conflict resolution, and state building. Ahtisaari played major roles in the Namibia independence process, U.N. negotiations over the status of Kosovo, and the deliberations that ended the three-decades-long conflict between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for his varied career of “great efforts, on several continents.”
Ahtisaari served as the president of Finland from 1994 to 2000. Today, he chairs the Crisis Management Initiative, a non-governmental organization he founded in 2000 to support peace processes around the world, and he is a member of The Elders, a coalition of 12 global leaders dedicated to promoting human rights and forging sustainable peace.
The Friedman award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of international law. Past recipients include U.S. Senators George Mitchell and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
The award is named after the late Wolfgang G. Friedmann, Professor of International Law and Director of International Legal Research at Columbia Law School. In 1960, Friedmann founded the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. An expert in international law, he had fled his native Germany before World War II, and served with the political intelligence department of the British Foreign Office and the postwar Allied Military Government. He taught at Columbia Law School from 1955 until his death in 1972. He passionately advocated for a world order based on mutual respect among nations, and was known for his courageous denunciations of the Nazi Party when he was a judge in Germany.
For 65 years, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law has showcased the work of international law scholars. Today it has more than 400 subscribers, one-third of whom live outside the U.S. in more than 60 countries.