WHO WE ARE
CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation is an independent Finnish organisation that works to prevent and resolve conflicts through dialogue and mediation. Founded in 2000 by Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, we have since grown to be a leader in the field of international peacemaking.
Our team consists of more than 100 international experts and over 300 global partners from a variety of fields with whom we have advanced more than 50 peace processes in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia and Asia.
CMI is headquartered in Helsinki, with an office in Brussels and a presence in more than 20 countries. Together we share the commitment of developing innovative solutions to tackle issues at the heart of political conflict that prevent peace processes from moving forward.
Mastering the Craft of Peace
Conflict resolution and peace mediation are integral parts of foreign and security policy, and of development policy in general. Without peace and stability, there can be no meaningful development. Also, preventing and solving conflicts at their roots is always the most cost-efficient option, offering substantial rewards for modest financial investment.
Amid the modern complexity of conflicts and fragmentation of peace processes, there is a growing need for unobtrusive, independent actors with broad networks and proven expertise – such as CMI.
CMI’s core added value lies in its long-term cooperation with local, regional and international actors, where it can provide complementary, on-demand support for conflict prevention and resolution.
Being an agile, trusted partner for peace is the foundation of CMI’s work. Our service-based approach is defined by our ability to listen, make independent assessments, and recognise the needs of stakeholders to create conducive environments for peace.
CMI’s working methodologies are deeply contextualised and build on a foundation of the highest expertise in peacemaking. Our ability to deliver is based on two mutually supportive strategies: mediation and dialogue and serving as a trusted partner. In addition to the support and expertise we provide to our stakeholders committed to settling conflicts through peaceful means, we actively engage in shaping the policy and praxis of international and regional peacemaking.
Women in Peacemaking and Digital in Peacemaking are priority areas for CMI, as we respond to the need to create more inclusive forms of conflict settlement as well as to the opportunities and threats digital technologies present to peacemakers. In the coming years, we aim to enable women’s full agency for conflict prevention and resolution and to leverage the full potential of technologies to improve the practice of mediation and mitigate their use to fuel conflict and jeopardise peace processes.
CMI has a programme partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and works closely with a number of other governments as well as multiple regional and international organisations.
Our fundamental principles
CMI’s enduring vision is that all conflicts can be resolved. This vision is based on our conviction that people have the capacity to pursue peaceful change, even amid cyclical forms of violence. Everything CMI does in pursuit of this vision is guided by five fundamental principles that uphold our independence and are rooted in the experience of two decades of international peace mediation. These principles continue to serve as the cornerstones of our Strategy 2030.
As an honest broker, we are open about our role, our goals, and our partnerships, with requisite discretion to safeguard our counterparts. Our impartiality ensures that we act without a political agenda, for the benefit of peace, and without biases towards any party or interest.
Our work relies on the commitment of conflict parties and stakeholders to address the key questions of a given dispute. Our experience shows that sustainable resolutions to conflict are reached when conflict parties own the settlement process and we, the peacemakers, accompany and support these efforts.
The inclusion of all relevant actors in a peace process is a precondition for the durable settlement of a conflict. Inclusivity of voices and actors paves the way for a broad consideration of the causes of and solutions to a conflict and sets a precedent for participatory and inclusive processes for the future. We engage with all relevant actors and lay special emphasis on the participation of women in peace efforts.
We coordinate and communicate efficiently and effectively with relevant actors and stakeholders to ensure the complementarity and the added value of our efforts. We build synergies with local, regional, and international actors. Our strength lies in our ability to take initiatives formal actors cannot – and our sensitivity to step back when needed.
Maintaining independence from external agendas and influence is one of the foundations of our work. We do not compromise our principles and we ensure that our operations, partnerships, and resources align with the highest ethical standards.
states, and regions envision
and realise peaceful
and sustainable alternatives to conflict.
Mastering the craft of peace.
Increasing institutional resilience.
As peacemakers, we anticipate and respond effectively
to the changing character of conflict
through mediation and dialogue.
Read more about our Strategy 2030 here.
Made in Finland, Global Impact
The story of CMI begins with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former President and founder of CMI, Martti Ahtisaari. After stepping down as president of Finland in 2000 and despite being offered a significant role in the international arena, Ahtisaari decided to pursue the path of peace mediation by addressing the root causes of conflict. CMI was founded the same year, with the aim of contributing to solving violent and political conflicts throughout the world. Since its inception, CMI has implemented Ahtisaari’s vision based on the notion that all conflicts can be resolved and has developed into one of the global leaders in the field of peacemaking.
Ahtisaari’s legacy and our heritage are grounded in Finland’s experience in advancing an egalitarian society. For many regions affected by conflict, Finland’s story of rising from poverty, healing the trauma of a divisive past, and navigating major power rivalries to become a solution-oriented and trusted member of the international community, resonates in its authenticity. Through hard work, determination, and cooperation, Finland has grown to epitomise a stable democracy and reliable partner for global peace and security.
With Finland as our home, Ahtisaari’s legacy as our guide, and an established international track record as our foundation, CMI has become a trusted partner in the advancement of global peace and security. To this end, our independence is essential and enables us to provide safe space for political dialogue. Together with our international partners, we continue to share the vision of building bridges for the peaceful settlement of conflicts.