The fifth annual Harri Holkeri Lecture took place on 9th May 2017 at the Queen's University in Belfast. This year's lecture was given by President Tarja Halonen.
Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri played an important role as a member of the Mitchell Committee from 1995 onwards, co-chairing the peace talks along with former US Senator George Mitchell and retired Canadian General John de Chastelain. These talks eventually led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and Holkeri received an honorary knighthood from the Queen for his work. Harri Holkeri died 11th August 2011 at the age of 74.
In the memory of Holkeri and Finland’s role in the peace process, Queen's University in Belfast, together with the Embassy of Finland in London, present an annual lecture on building and maintaining peace, with changing speakers every year.
This year's lecture was given by President Tarja Halonen. Halonen was the 11th President of the Republic of Finland, serving two terms of office from 2000 to 2012. She was Finland’s first female head of state. President Halonen is renowned for her work and involvement in human rights, democracy and civil society. Throughout her career, she has worked ceaselessly to advance social justice, equality, women’s rights and sustainable development.
You can read President Tarja Halonen's lecture here:
Reflections on women and peacebuilding by President Tarja Halonen at the Queens University, 9.5.2017