Martti Ahtisaari receives Nobel Peace Prize

So what do you think?

He’s been a front runner for years, but I think that the committee has made the safe choice. It would have been very appropriate to give it to a Chinese dissenter, such as Hu Jia or Wei Jingsheng, this year with the Olympics and all, but after all the hoopla last year, they have chosen to return to the more traditional definition of a peace maker.

What’s he done, exactly?

Negotiating international crises over the past 30 years, mostly. He led the negotiations for the Aceh peace settlement in 2005 and administrated the Namibian independence process in the 70’s. And starting from 1999 he was part of a team negotiating a settlement in the Kosovo affair.

Ahtisaari has been very active in various peace talks around the world and gets the award “for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts” according to the committee. Most recently he was the UN envoy to Kosovo dealing with the conflict there in the aftermath of the war. He also played a leading role in the peace negotiations in the Aceh province of Indonesia in 2005, and he founded the NGO Crisis Management Initiative.

He’s very much a man in the traditional mold of peace negotiators, and as I said in my OP, he’s been a front-runner for this award for many years. I would say, it’s a good, but safe, choice.