Future of multilateralism

Live stream · 17.03.2021 09:00 - 10:00

Wednesday 17 March 2021, at 9.00 – 10.00 (EET)

Finland relies on the multilateral and rules-based international order to address global challenges. Geopolitical rivalry between China, Russia and the United States has nevertheless brought the multilateral system with its organizations, rules and networks under threat. The United Nations is weakened in a time when concerted action would be needed more than ever. Without multilateral efforts global challenges such as climate change, the ongoing health crisis, migration flows, and cybersecurity cannot be solved. Besides the launch of concrete intergovernmental initiatives to strengthen multilateralism, further reflection is needed on the many forms and meanings of multilateralism. Can multilateralism be saved? Is multilateralism in a crisis or in a stage of transformation? What kind of initiatives can strengthen multilateralism? How can inclusive multilateralism be ensured?

The webinar is organised in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Registrations to maija.salonen@fiia.fi.


Opening remarks

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling - The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).

Keynote Speaker

Ban Ki-moon

Former UN Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon is the 8th UN Secretary-General (2007–2016). Currently, he is the Chairman of the National Council for Climate and Air Control as well as the Chairman of the Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future in Seoul, and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Center For Global Citizens in Vienna. In addition, he is the Deputy Chair of The Elders (2018–), an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights. Mr. Ban is also the Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission. Before his post as UN Secretary-General, he served as the Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (1999) and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea (2004–2006).


Katja Creutz

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Katja Creutz is Leading Researcher in FIIA’s Global Security programme. Her main field of expertise is international law and especially issues of responsibility, human rights and global governance. Dr Creutz holds a Doctor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws programme degree from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Political Science from Åbo Akademi University. She has previously worked as Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights of the University of Helsinki. She is the author of the book "State Responsibility in International Law: A Critical Appraisal" published by Cambridge University Press.


Hiski Haukkala

Professor of International Relations, Tampere University

Hiski Haukkala is Professor of International Relations at Tampere University, Finland. Until summer 2018 he was the Secretary-General and Chief of the Cabinet at the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland and Foreign Policy Adviser to the President. Previously he has held positions at the Universities of Turku and Tampere, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs as well as visiting positions in Wilson Center, College of Europe, EUISS, IISS and University of Stirling. He is the author of numerous books and articles on EU foreign policy, Russia and International Relations.


Kai Sauer

Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and security policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Kai Sauer is the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Previously, he has worked as Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York (2014–2019) and as Ambassador of Finland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN (2010–2014). Ambassador Sauer has also served as Director at the Unit for UN Affairs of the MFA, as Senior Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, President Martti Ahtisaari in UNOSEK and as Director of the Unit for the Western Balkans of the MFA. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Tampere and a Doctorate of Humane Letters (h.c.), Northland College, Wisconsin.