In Finland we have equal political rights for women and men. We do not regard ourselves according to sex.
If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.
Without rebuilding the confidence between parties, you will never succeed.
Men and women have roles - their roles are different, but their rights are equal.
If we go back in the history of different nations, violence and the use of force are part of their heritage. These are the traditions of mankind.
We Finns represent a very transparent and open-minded way of reaching political decisions.
Discussion is just a tool. You have to aim; the final goal must be a decision.
That is where consensus-building begins-with the idea that you have your own truth, but that the negotiator on the other side of the table has his own truth as well.
There are many challenges, there are many obstacles; let us try to change the obstacles to advantages.
What we can do as individuals may not be very much on the global scale, but we have to start the change by living as we are teaching.
When the problems in Northern Ireland started, it was not a question of Protestantism or Catholicism, because the Catholic church was the only church at that time-it was a nationalist conflict.
One of the biggest development issues in the world is the education of girls. In the United States and Europe, it has been accepted, but not in Africa and the developing countries.
When my first child was born in 1962, I wrote a letter to my grandfather telling him how happy I was but how concerned; concerned because there were so many visions which were not very good.
There are big issues, like the reform of the Security Council. These kinds of questions are something the President of the General Assembly must keep his eye on.
The Baltic Sea is becoming more and more polluted. Not everybody living near the shore of the Baltic Sea is protecting it. It is the water of life for countries like Finland and Sweden.
I really do hope that the Millennium Summit gives new impetus to the work of the United Nations.
Finland had a civil war less than 100 years ago, just like in Ireland. If you look at the history of newly independent nations, civil war is almost every time present, even in the United States.
I do not want to speak about overpopulation or birth control, but I think education is the way to give new impetus to the poverty question.
I recently reread an article of mine written in 1964, and I think it is still valid. There is not much difference. Many of the items on the agenda 37 years ago are still there.
I think I can regard myself as a political decision-maker.
If there is something I would like to do as President of the General Assembly, it is to place more emphasis on the issue of education, which enables a better life for women.
In every European nation, there have been problems in history when the society was too divided.
Peace enforcement is a much more difficult kind of operation than peacekeeping.
In international or national crises, there are always questions of lack of confidence. You have to change the minds of the people in order to get results.
My opinion on who's wrong or who's right has nothing to do with the fact that we have to bring together people who are against each other, to transform antagonism into cooperation.
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