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Year of growth and transformation – Here are three highlights from our work in 2021

Published on Wednesday, 22 December 2021

It’s once again time to take stock of the achievements and events of the past year. CMI can look back at what it’s achieved in 2021 with pride and welcome 2022 with a sense of excitement. In this article, we have listed some of the highlights of 2021 for CMI.

CMI’s Sub-Saharan Africa team had their team retreat in August. Photo: Olli Puumalainen

As we approach the end of 2021, it’s once again time to take stock of the achievements and events of the past year. For CMI, this has been a year of growth and transformation. We started 2021 as an association called the Crisis Management Initiative and ended it as a foundation CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to affect our work. But in 2021 we were better prepared and able to carry on with the revised ways of working that the organisation adopted when the pandemic started.

When you have a great support system even the toughest obstacles can be overcome. None of what we do would be possible without our partners and donors, whose continued support and contribution to our work are invaluable.

We can look back at what we’ve achieved in 2021 with pride and welcome 2022 with a sense of excitement and with new ideas. Below we have listed some of the highlights of 2021 for CMI.

New kind of organisational stability

To be able to better protect President Ahtisaari’s global peacemaking legacy and to make the organisation more sustainable, CMI needed a distinguished and lasting configuration.

So on 1 May, CMI changed from being an association to a foundation called CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation following two years of hard work. We also appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Janne Taalas. To celebrate our transformation and our new CEO, we organised a webinar that was joined by over 600 people.

Strong strategy to guide our work

Alongside the foundation process, CMI also developed a new 10-year strategy. Our strategy “Mastering the Craft of Peace” builds on CMI’s existing strengths and serves us as a roadmap for responding to future challenges and pursuing our enduring vision that all conflicts can be resolved.

Over the next ten years, CMI’s mission will be to anticipate and respond effectively to the changing character of conflict through mediation and dialogue. Our new strategy guided the planning of our programme for 2022-2025, for which CMI was granted support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in late November. During the new programme period, we will be investing in some new regions in our work, such as the Horn of Africa and Sahel.

Strengthening our link to Brussels and the EU

The European Union is one of CMI’s most longstanding key partners. In 2021, we carried out several large projects with the support of the EU, including our work in Ukraine and Yemen.

We also strengthened our presence in the heart of the EU by appointing a head of CMI’s Brussels office. Dr Jibecke Jönsson, who has several years of experience working with the EU and the UN, now leads CMI’s outreach and awareness raising efforts in Brussels, strengthening collaboration and cooperation with the EU, EU member states and other Brussels-based stakeholders, and contributing to CMI’s strategic planning and partnership-building.