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Finland Ambassador of Hope - Antti Pentikäinen
[Meditation for Love & Peace]
 
Peace without borders - he uses love to face peace, and uses hope to face the world.
 
- Antti Pentikäinen

Antti Pentikäinen, the Executive Director cum Special Envoy for the Finnish Prime Minister of the United Nations’ Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers was graduated in first place in Master of Theology from the University of Helsinki, Finland in 1996. He has been devoted himself wholeheartedly to practice “meditation for love and peace.” Over the past 21 years, he founded more than 60 amazing international networks of governmental and non-governmental activist networks, including the UN, EU, OSCE, OIC, the US State Department, the Finnish Government, etc., allowing smooth communication channels among all parties. This would not only avoided misunderstandings and miscalculations, but also mastered conflicts in a timely manner – to minimize major problems and turn minor problems into nothing.

At the same time, Antti Pentikäinen has also combined NGO side HD Center, Berghof Foundation, Carter Center, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Saint Egidio, etc. to form a core force. The purpose is to help UN and other mediators to make more contacts with religions and tribal groups that tend to generate conflicts. It has also included women and young people into the peace process, and made use of various opportunities to promote the UN to expand dialog with terrorists.
 
The most valuable thing is: Antti Pentikäinen has successively participated in 100 national operations and successively resolved the world’s top ten conflict programs in Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Thailand, Philippines, Syria and other countries.

Antti Pentikäinen was also especially in charge of the humanitarian plan to provide assistance to more than 1.5 million people each day to save lives and help the vulnerable people in Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Libya, Haiti, and Gaza Strip to live in hopes.

Antti Pentikäinen is regarded as Finland’s top young mediator to establish a tribal and religious organization for the UN, which is also a timely, diversified and innovative, and a communication network platform among the armed groups. He is deeply respected and trusted by all parties with conflicts and has achieved outstanding performances. His contributions to the promotion of peace and human rights have won him the Ambassador of Hope Award from the President of Finland and TYOP Medal from International Youth Federation. He deserve to be praised as the “Finnish Ambassador of Hope” and stood out among 2616 candidates of Loved Life Medal from all walks of life in the world and won the “21st Fervent Global Love of Lives Award” in 2018 from Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation in Taiwan. The Foundation always welcomes recommendations for life warriors from all walks of life in the world who are hardworking, benevolent, courageous, and have made great accomplishments, etc. (Fervent Global Love of Lives Award recommendation hotline of Chou, Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation of Taiwan: 02-29178770, Fax: 02-29178768, Address: 3F, No. 52, Mingde Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City, Website: http://www.ta.org.tw, e-mail: ta88ms17@gmail.com).

Top young generation mediator
Antti Pentikäinen is the top young mediator from Finland. 

Over the years, he has helped women and young people to attain substantial and important achievements in many successful peace mediation efforts. Now he is guiding the practice to reform the UN towards the work direction for the establishment of pluralistic peace among the tribal, religious and armed groups. 

Antti Pentikäinen possesses extensive experience in mediating conflict areas and has long been engaged in humanitarian work, including cooperation with several UN agencies.

He began his mediation work in 1999 when he served as the Head of the European Student Unions, where he supported Kosovo students and Serbian peace activists during the war in Kosovo. In the process of peace promotion, he became an Advisor to the subsequent Nobel Peace Prize winner - Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.

He later helped to establish a Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) with Mr. Ahtisaari, where he led its finance and administrative division, and also served as a Special Advisor to several peace processes.

In 2004, he became the Executive Director of Finn Church Aid (FCA), Finland’s largest development agency. During his leadership, FCA focused on peace work to support the traditional communities in fragile countries. He specialized in assisting traditional and religious communities to advance peace and development, and dealt with armed groups.
 
Established the “Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers”
Currently, Antti Pentikäinen is leading the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in accordance with the requirements of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs (DPA) to establish the “Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers,” and help the UN, a number of countries, conflict tribes, religious groups, etc. to make contacts, communicate and resolve conflicts.

Antti Pentikäinen is a Special Envoy for the Prime Minister of Finland to responsible for migration crisis in addressing the root causes.

For conflicts around the world, refugees are the most innocent victims, and hardly able to seek help.
 
Refugees, whether they are staying in the conflict areas or on a long journey to flee, are desperate for help from all sectors at home and abroad.

Antti Pentikäinen always firmly believes that the UN and international human rights organizations must come forward in a timely manner to solve the refugee crisis. Only grasping the root causes of the conflicts at the first moment can it minimize the major problems and turn the minor problems into nothing.

Antti Pentikäinen had served as the Director of Conflict Transformation for “Religion and Peace (RfP).” In this position he led the conflict resolution programs in Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Thailand and the Philippines. While handling various aspects, he always listens humbly, always responds with sincerity, and always sincerely respects to turn enemies into friends, and eliminate enemies with compassion.
 
For example, In Somalia, Antti Pentikäinen promoted the national and local peace initiatives to resolve the conflicts step by step, including to help the UN-Political Office (UNPOS) in Somalia to end the transitional change and established a permanent federal agency. Antti Pentikäinen also led the team to help Baidoa and Somalia to set up an administrative department.

Currently, he leads a research team of the UN-Somalia (UNSOM) to study the leaders’ opinions of Somali Youth Party (Al Shabaab) on political dialog. He tries to rule out interference from foreign forces and allow them to resolve their conflicting issues.

Interconnecting more than 60 countries and 100 global NGO peace operations
Recently, Antti Pentikäinen is constantly proposing policy briefs to members of the UN Security Council, the White House, the State Department, etc., and currently working for the UN personnel and diplomat to develop religion, conflict and mediation training models.

He is an important coach and convener of the UN Development Program (UNDP) to develop relevant executive staff pilot courses.

Antti Pentikäinen is the founder and Executive Director of the “Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers” and has established more than 60 amazing international networks of governmental and non-governmental activist networks, including the UN, EU, OSCE, OIC, the US State Department, the Finnish Government, etc.
 
He has also combined NGO side HD Center, the Berghof Foundation, the Carter Center, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Saint Egidio, etc. to form a core force. The purpose is to help UN and other mediators to make more contacts with religions and tribal groups that tend to generate conflicts. This also includes expanding and promoting dialog between the UN and terrorist organizations.
 
 Antti Pentikäinen’s “Web Secretariat” has conducted a variety of breakthrough studies, such as the Somalia Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram. The network has prompted the UN to engage with armed groups, including the organization in Libya.

Antti Pentikäinen is convinced that the love and hope spread by the peace network is boundless. The network has helped the UN that currently stationed in Somalia, Libya, CAR, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Myanmar, southern Thailand and other countries to perform the exciting mediation work.

Antti Pentikäinen always believes that women and young people are the key forces in resolving conflicts, so women and young people are especially included in the peace process.

Antti Pentikäineng, who is not selfish, has authorized the network to develop new training models for UN personnel and diplomats. He has led the training of many courses, such as UNDPA personnel and the UN Development Program (UNDP).
     
He teaches matters related to contacts with the armed groups, the integration of tribes and women, conflict analysis, mediation and solutions, etc. The seeds for sowing peace work have spread all over the world.

Special Envoy for the Prime Minister of Finland
To spread love out of Finland, besides carrying the heavy workload in the UN, Antti Pentikäinen is also doing his utmost efforts for his motherland in Finland.

Antti Pentikäinen often visits the UN Security Council, the White House, the State Department, the European Union, etc., and is always on call to resolve the issue of the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

One of the priorities of Antti Pentikäinen’s work is long-term systemic response that is currently being formulated to address the deficiencies in the UN’s peace mediation framework, including better integration of internal mediators, mediation measures, and the need to resolve community relationships after the peace agreement. So far, the percentage of peace agreement failure in recent years is 40%.

To reduce the proportion of failures in international peace agreements, Antti Pentikäinen always runs between various international forces, including Europe, the United States, China, Russia, the Middle East, etc. He is indeed an admirable international licorice character.
 
Although Antti Pentikäinen used to travel internationally for peace work, but he has not forgotten to give feedback to his motherland Finland. While handling the Mediterranean refugee crisis, he simultaneously proposed a solution to the root causes and has been awarded as a Special Envoy for hope by the Prime Minister of Finland.

• When the refugee crisis rose in 2015, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä requested Antti Pentikäinen to return to the country to provide assistance and he stepped forward bravely at the first instant.
• Within 72 hours of his return to Finland, he directly analyzed and briefed the leadership of Finland and simultaneously provided solutions to possible global developments.
• He also accepted the appointment to help resolve the underlying causes of conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa, and other countries by establishing a dialog of confidence among the parties.
• He proposed specific feasible solutions and assistance to resolve the refugee issue to various government departments, and won praises from Finland and the EU.
• He has also been invited many times to participate in European Refugee Relief Committee conferences held by EU leaders.

Solving a variety of issues with multiple titles
Antti Pentikäinen was responsible for leading his advisory committee for three years in the UN Development Program (UNDP), the world’s largest development agency to provide strategic advice, key planning decisions, and teach the senior leadership of UNDP.

During the period when he led the Finn Church Aid (FCA), he focused on the support of peace, humanitarian assistance and development through the traditional communities of fragile countries. His grounded performance was obvious to all.
 
He increased the FCA’s budget from US$15 million a year to US$50 million. The organization set up offices and operations around the world and recruited staff from all over the world. This has allowed Finland to make friends with tens of thousands of friends from all walks of life and benefited tens of thousands of vulnerable people all over the world.

While serving as the Executive Director of DRC, Antti Pentikäinen was responsible for the humanitarian plan to provide assistance to more than 1.5 million people each day, benefiting the underprivileged in Somalia, Sudan, the Congo, Libya, Haiti, and the Gaza Strip.

Antti Pentikäinen is also the Chairman of Aprodev, the coordinating agency for all Christian aid agencies in Europe with an annual total budget of more than US$70 million. He continues to help establish women’s banks, trust funds, and small businesses that aim to assist women, allowing them to be self-reliant.

Antti Pentikäinen has also helped the ACT Alliance to tandem with the Global Network to assist Christian institutions, and he is also as a member of MSU Roster who specifically responsible for mediating with armed groups, conducting national dialogs, and contacting religious leaders.

Creating priceless peace and love in the world
Antti Pentikäinen is responsible for assisting religious leaders and community peace initiatives in conflict regions. RfR is now operating in 100 countries, and the focus paid at the time of conflict resolution program included ten conflicting issues happened in Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Thailand, Philippines and other countries in 2011.
 
He is courageous to assume responsibility for contacting UN personnel, members of the Security Council and various government units, providing policy recommendations to the UN Security Council, the US government, and a number of other government agencies to allow everybody to face the issues together and work together to solve problems.

He randomly formulates a solution strategy, institutionalizes the role of assisting religious leaders in mediating, and enables the UNMUS to carry out peace work in a methodical, step-by-step, and timely manner.

Antti Pentikäinen is Finnish’s topnotch international expert. He always uses multi-stakeholders to engage in dialog on global issues and challenges to find feasible solutions.


 In the Helsinki Process, which includes high-level Helsinki groups and three Track Groups, he is widely recognized as the best peacemaking envoy specializing in the process behind the preparation of peace process and bringing the conflict parties closer to perform coordination of initiative process. He is also responsible for liaising with the UN, especially with regard to the implementation of Africa, as well as the globalization and global governance plan for CMI. He is also linked to the Open Society Foundation (OSI), International Democracy and Election (IDEA), International Youth Fund (IYF), and other integration projects.
 
Sowing peace hope and the value of life
Antti Pentikäinen believes that there is hope for hard work, and there is value through mutual communication. Come on! There is room for negotiation when we leave the standardism. With the existence of negotiation space, there will be a sense of respect for aesthetics; with the existence of respect for aesthetics, there will be the value of life; and with the existence of life value, there is hope for peace.

He continues to apply soft power on the issue of resolving international conflicts.

He always stands up and sets up a bridge after another of creative communication on various unsolvable high walls.

He is always on the front line and is responsible for the practical global governance plans, the UN reform and democracy projects, and the unending follow-up intractable issues in the UN Security Council.

After graduated in first place in Master of Theology from the University of Helsinki in Finland in 1996, Antti Pentikäinen has been devoted himself wholeheartedly to the “European Student Unions (ESIB)” composing of 650 members from 31 countries in Europe. He soon became the top cadre of this top European student organization.

While Antti Pentikäinen was serving in ESIB, a war broke out in Kosovo. ESIB assisted the independent student movement in Yugoslavia and the student movement at the underground university in Pristina. He always stood up as the most humble Chairman to shuttle among all parties, and organized various initiatives in the district.
 
Antti Pentikäinen is also good at organizing post-war student union work and pioneering the first student cooperation agency in the Balkans, including the National Student Union representatives from all countries and ethnic groups in the region.

While Antti Pentikäinen was serving as the President of ESIB, the organization’s budget and the number of people employed increased three folds. The organization moved from Vienna to Brussels to spread the love of ESIB to every corner of Europe.

Antti Pentikäinen dares to serve in all undertakings and is also full of creative soft power. He has flipped Kosovo’s education system and reversed the Kosovo’s post-war elections. So far, he has been highly praised by tens of thousands of people in Kosovo and Europe.


Global testimonies
• Testimony from Qamar-ul Huda, Senior Policy Adviser of the US Secretary of State (mail: hudaq@state.gov, tel: 1-202-647-4498).
Antti Pentikäinen has effectively developed new and successful mechanisms to end conflicts that stop the depletion of resources and global threats, and reduce conflicts between religious factions.
 
He has long been a mediator in global conflict issues. He deeply understands the importance of local religious leaders, traditional communities, and leaders of civilized society. This has led him to develop new methods to achieve important achievements of peacemaking and help everyone under the joint efforts of the UN and global agencies.

Antti Pentikäinen’s efforts are widely recognized by the US Department of State and often been invited to visit the White House.


• Testimony of Martti Ahtisaari, former Finnish President and Nobel Prize winner (mailbox: martti.ahtisaari@cmi.fi, tel. +358 942-42810).
“I invited Antti Pentikäinen as my Advisor after the Kosovo peace process in 1999. All mediators need reliable background work. I’m proud to witness him on making the conflicting parties to talk skillfully. For the UN, he has opened a communication channel that never existed in the past. This’ll greatly help the peace process.”

•  Testimony of Ahmed Dirie Ali, spokesperson of the Hawiye Presbyterian Church (Tel: +252-615-581914)
+252-699-965965, mail: awdini2@hotmail.com).
“Few people can understand Somalia’s traditions and religions to help us reach the goal of peace; and we also have a hard time trusting outsiders. However, Antti Pentikäinen has become a trusted friend of Somalia, helping the outside world to hear our voices and also assisting to plan practical initiatives to help us achieve peace. He has also helped with the reconciliation of Hawiye tribes and assisted us to work with other tribes in the work of Senate Guurti.” May Allah Almighty allow him to work with us until peace is achieved.”

• Testimony of Margaret Vogt, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Somalia and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UNCAR.
“Antti Pentikäinen questioned the UN regarding our policy in Somalia. Not only did he pointed out our mistakes, but also helped us to expand and work better through practical initiatives. I must say that: This’s really important for the UN.”

• Testimony of Mustafa Ali, Secretary-General of the Global Children’s Religious Network and Director of Arigato (mail: m.ali@arigatouinternational.org, tel. +254-733-550066).

In 2011, Antti Pentikäinen helped the UN to achieve breakthrough results in consultations with the Somali Youth Party. That task included a very complex mediation, coordination with various governments, and contact with political activists. It’s extremely necessary for a person like Antti Pentikäinen as it’s impossible to accomplish the mission by depending on internal mediators alone.