Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI exactly 16 years ago, on 24 August 2000. So today’s our birthday!
After leaving office in early 2000, Ahtisaari was offered the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. However, he declined the offer in favour of establishing CMI. This was Ahtisaari’s response to the strong need he felt to tackle the root causes of refugee flows, poverty, and other social upheavals. The main such cause is violent conflict, which CMI specializes in solving and preventing.
From its humble beginnings with a skeleton staff of five, CMI now employs 70 professionals. Our work has evolved over the years, too. What began as a small support operation for former President Ahtisaari’s crisis-management work is now a large, independent organization with many conflict-prevention and conflict-resolution projects worldwide. And as it has grown, CMI has firmly secured its place as one of the world’s leading peace brokers.
To honour the day that’s in it, a range of photos from CMI’s archives are posted on Instagram, where you’ll find us under the tag @cmioffice.