President Martti Ahtisaari: Education of youth is the most efficient instrument of progress

President Martti Ahtisaari, an alumnus of the University of Oulu, honored his Signature Date by a visit to the University of Oulu on 16 November. During the two-hour event, Mr. Ahtisaari gave his views on the future of Europe, mediation of conflicts abroad, and domestic disagreements.

Mr. Ahtisaari feels that most of development co-operation funds should go towards supporting young people's studies in European and Finnish universities, and giving graduates a chance at work experience in countries such as Finland.

"These youths will be agents of change in their homelands" says Mr. Ahtisaari. "Money given to universities in Finland and Europe is for a good cause".

President Ahtisaari also feels that improving education and especially economic know-how is important in work against racism and peace work. "No country in the world can afford to underestimate education", Mr. Ahtisaari stresses. He also wishes for more ethics and responsibility from the business world, as justice in economy helps preserve peace.

President Ahtisaari also spoke in favour of Finland joining NATO as well as promoting Nordic cooperation.

At the end of the event Mr. Ahtisaari answered questions by the students in the audience.

Last updated: 1.12.2011