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“My sincere congratulations, Mr. Ahtisaari, for this recognition for your personal efforts to resolve international conflicts on several continents for more than three decades,” Hydro’s President and CEO Eivind Reiten said at the reception in the Nobel Peace Center.

It was a festive evening at the center and later at the concert in the Oslo Spektrum concert hall, celebrating the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Finnish former president was awarded the peace prize for his relentless efforts as a peace negotiator.

Profound optimist

Ahtisaari is renowned for having contributed to bringing peace to numerous conflicts, among them the independence struggle in Namibia, ending 30 years of fighting in Aceh, Indonesia, and solving the conflict in Kosovo.

“I sense a profound optimism in your message. And you yourself are an example that an individual from a Nordic country can change the world – or at least make a world of difference for millions of people," said Reiten, adding a question:

“Do you see a role of other individuals, groups – or say, an aluminium company – in the efforts for keeping or promoting peace?”

A role for everyone

“There is a role for everyone in keeping and promoting peace, also for business,” Ahtisaari answered.

“There will be no growth without the private sector, so it is of the utmost importance that the private sector helps rebuild societies ridden by war and conflict.”

Before he left for the concert, Ahtisaari praised Hydro for being a sponsor for the impressive Nobel Peace Center. He also said this was one of the important things business could do to help promote the cause of peace.

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