Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Barrett Meets with Former Finnish

VZCZCXRO1589
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHHE #0270/01 1760525
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 240525Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4376
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0061
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0003
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA 0027
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 4894
RUEHPS/AMEMBASSY PRISTINA 0046
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0077

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 000270

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL OECD UN FI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR BARRETT MEETS WITH FORMER FINNISH
PRESIDENT AHTISAARI

Classified By: Acting PolChief Lisa Conesa for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1.(SBU) Ambassador Barbara M. Barrett paid a courtesy call on
former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari on June 10 at the
Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) office in Helsinki.
Ahtisaari told Ambassador Barrett that he feels half
American, having lived in New York from the beginning of 1977
to the summer of 1991. He noted his association with the UN
over the last 30 years through 5 secretary generals and many
US presidents and that he is now on the boards of Silatech
(established 2007) and ImagineNations.
Ambassador Barrett thanked him for his fine work in Kosovo
and in Aceh before that. They then discussed Kosovo and CMI
in greater detail.

2. (C) Kosovo: Ahtisaari compared Russian and Serbian
behavior in Kosovo to that of school bullies. He mentioned
that the UN Secretary General seems uneasy making moves there
but that a clear handover from the UN to the EU is necessary.
Ahtisaari believes that the Secretary General is under
pressure from the Russians; he also did not see a current
reason for the legalistic attitude the Russians and Serbs
are taking about Kosovo further stating that it should have
come up in 1989 instead of now.

3. (SBU) CMI: On his CMI venture, Ahtisaari compared some of
the Swiss NGO successes worldwide and their post conflict
budgets, and pondered whether egalitarian Finnish culture
would accept such a large budget here. He intends to pursue
strategic partnerships for his work throughout Europe and
with the USG, hoping to include half a dozen of his
long-standing governmental relationships (he mentioned the
Nordics, Netherlands, Germany, UK). He is specifically
talking to Ireland and Switzerland. He expects to start
talking to the USG in due course and is finalizing a US
501(c) 3 number. He also expressed a desire to work with the
OECD Development Assistance Community. Currently, the CMI is
receiving more requests than they have capacity to fulfill
and Ahtisaari sees no end to what they could do.

4. (C) Burma: Ahtisaari was asked to do a Burma report in
support of the Secretary General's special envoy work. He
noted that there was talk of his going to see the Generals in
private with no publicity. He thought the disaster may help
push them toward contact. He mentioned Sri Lanka and the
Iraqi Kurds as other possible areas for work noting that the
starting point is when the main actors see eye-to-eye on what
should be done.

5. (C) Liberia: Ahtisaari said that Liberia is undergoing a
basic census and currently has no identification process to
support its structure. Activity is proceeding province to
province. Post civil war planning for development activities
requires a basic idea of who is there and that means
registrations of births and deaths. When asked how the USG
might help, he mentioned small-scale financial support for
activities. A conference is planned for next year
surrounding women, the Liberian woman president and President
Halonen are involved. He noted that if Africa has hope, it's
due to women there providing leadership.

6. (C) Middle East, North Africa, Indonesia: Ahtisaari gave
a read out of the inaugural Silatech Board of Trustees
meeting in Doha June 1. The wife of the Emir of Qatar, Her
Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned (HH Sheikha
Mozah), also the Chairperson of Silatech's Board of Trustees
has seeded $100 million, with a goal of obtaining additional
contributions to reach $1 billion toward advancing employment
of young people (18-30) in the Middle Eastern and North
African regions as a way to fight
terrorism. They plan to train young people in the skills
needed for working in the private sector, encouraging
entrepreneurship, and providing funding for the transition
from small to medium size businesses (medium size businesses
employ additional people). Other countries involved in these
initiatives include Qatar, Dubai, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco and
Syria. About Indonesia and ImagineNations, he mentioned
private and World Bank funding of $350 million and the
purchase of an existing bank, in which ImagineNations Group
has a minor share. Ahtisaari said that while microfunding is
good, especially for women, microfunding schemes do not
generate employment so funding
must exist to raise the scale from small to medium. He
stated that the Indonesian government is excited. They are
also training in Indonesia to meet Japan's futures needs;

HELSINKI 00000270 002 OF 002


including worker rights and family support from the worker's
perspective. He believes the Indonesian government is
excited about the program. Ahtisaari briefly mentioned his
board membership with EastWest Institute noting a recent idea
occurred to them that people with money could choose
investments and keep their principal
while their interest income would fund initiatives.

7. (C) Iraq Meetings: Ahtisaari turned the topic to the
innovative meetings held with Iraqis in September and again
in April, with Finnish MFA sponsorship. He said that the
impetus to hold the meetings came from Tufts and that he can
provide the electricity and atmosphere. The logistics proved
difficult; half of the participants were on travel lists and
most were coming from Baghdad or
Amman. He complained that "no proper facilities" exist in
Baghdad and that while Amman would offer facilities, Amman is
more complicated than Finland.

8. (SBU) The meeting closed with Ambassador Barrett thanking
former President Ahtisaari for his ardent support of the
Transatlantic relationship.
BARRETT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: