Inclusive mediation in the time of great power competition

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 12.05.2023 10:00 - 11:30


Peace mediation efforts are facing an increasingly demanding environment: the number of violent conflicts remains at record high and the shifting international order challenges many of the norms and platforms that have pertained dominant peacebuilding practices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought geopolitics, defence, and security in the centre of international relations, increasing military expenditures and pushing the traditionally militarily non-allied Finland to join Nato. Mediation strategies will need to adapt and demonstrate their relevance in contributing to international peace and security. Inclusive peacemaking is needed in regaining trust and building sustainable peace processes when negotiations do take place. The on-going formulation of Finland’s new government programme provides a pivotal and timely opportunity to reflect this changing global landscape and Finland’s role in it and in peace mediation.

This high-level panel discussion brings together top international mediation experts to explore future trends and emerging dynamics in peace mediation, including in advancing gender inclusive mediation, in the current global context. The seminar examines the effects of the ongoing fragmentation of the international system and the rules-based international order to peacemaking and discusses the implications of the growing role of new mediation actors for peacebuilding landscapes. The seminar also touches upon the place and role of countries like Finland to advance inclusive mediation and the implementation of Women Peace and Security agenda.

You can register to the seminar by sending email to by 10 May.


Welcoming words:
Mikael Antell, Ambassador, Deputy Director General, Political Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Panel discussion:
Markus Potzel, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UNAMA
Mohammed Alhammali Maymoun, Chief Executive of Fezzan Working Group, member of the Reconciliation Committee for the Libyan Presidential Council
Patience Zanelie Chiradza, Director of Governance and Conflict Prevention, African Union (AU)

Katariina Mustasilta, Leading researcher, FIIA

Janne Taalas,
Chief Executive Officer, CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation

The event is convened in partnership with CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.


Welcoming words

Mikael Antell

Ambassador, Deputy Director General, Political Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Ambassador Mikael Antell is the Deputy Director General for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (2022–). Mikael joined the Finnish Foreign Service in 1995 and has since then engaged in particular with issues related to security policy, Nordic cooperation and European Union. Prior to his current position, Mikael was the Finnish Ambassador to Norway (2018–2022) and Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Stockholm (2013– 2018). Antell has served as Deputy Head of Unit for Northern Europe (2010–2013), focusing on relations with Nordic countries, and as Deputy Director at the Unit for General EU-affairs (2008–2010), working on Finnish EU policy. Antell has been Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland in Copenhagen (2003–2008) and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Santiago de Chile. During the first Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1999), he worked at the EU Secretariat. Before that (1995–1998) he served as an EU Information Officer at Europe Information at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Panel discussion

Markus Potzel

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UNAMA

Markus Potzel brings to the position over 27 years of professional experience in diplomacy and international cooperation, including eight years of professional experience working in and on Afghanistan. Most recently, he served as Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan.

Mr. Potzel has held several senior positions with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2017-2021), Commissioner for Crisis Management (since 2016), Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan (2014-2016) and Head of the German Federal Foreign Office Middle East Division (2010- 2014). He also served as Personal Assistant to the Foreign Affairs Minister (2006-2009), in the Parliamentary and Cabinet Division of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-2005), as Head of the Economics and Trade Section in the German Embassy in Tehran (2000-2004) and as Head of the Cultural Section in the German Embassy in Singapore (1997-2000). In 2010, he was a visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs studying the relations between Iran and Afghanistan.

Mohammed Alhammali Maymoun

Chief Executive of Fezzan Working Group, member of the Reconciliation Committee for the Libyan Presidential Council

Mohammed Ali Al Hammali Maymoun is the Chief Executive of Fezzan Working Group, a select group of academics and leaders in the south of Libya and a member of the Reconciliation Committee for the Libyan Presidential Council. His work focuses on resolving conflict, building relations and supporting vulnerable groups in Southern Libya through liaising with various groups, leaders and elders to develop action plans for maintaining security and peace in the area, as well as supporting economic recovery and development opportunities socially, economically and environmentally. Mr. Maymoun has vast experience of the issues affecting the dynamics in the Southern area of Libya.

Patience Zanelie Chiradza

Director of Governance and Conflict Prevention, African Union (AU)

Prior to joining the African Union, Patience was a Dispute Resolution Specialist with the Office of Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) under the World Bank Group. Patience served in the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission of Zimbabwe (2016-2021). She led the thematic area on Conflict Prevention and Non-Recurrence which involved putting in place an infrastructure for conflict prevention and peacebuilding which includes peace committees, dialogue platforms, Dispute Resolution Unit as well as the Conflict Early Warning Early Response mechanism. She was also responsible for interparty dialogue facilitation, as well as mediation processes.

Patience was the National Coordinator for the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) which was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Global Political Agreement of 2008 (2009-2014). Her work involved liaising with the JOMIC members and SADC Facilitation team on the implementation of agreed issues, coordinating the interparty dialogue platform to attend to complaints and conflicts from the communities, resource mobilisation and programme management among others. Patience started her career in the retail industry working as a store manager for Edgars and Truworths stores (1999-2004) and was Finance and Administration manager for Afrosoft (Pvt) Ltd 2005-2009. She has also provided consultancy services on peacebuilding, conflict prevention and transitional justice to IGAD.

Patience holds Master of Science degree in International Relations, Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science Honours in Politics and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. She has trained in conflict resolution and mediation with the Action Support Centre (South Africa) Clingendael Institute (The Hague), UNITAR, Swisspeace (University of Basel), and FemWise-Africa. She has also participated in the International Politics Summer School at Oxford University where she undertook a course on Democratisation in Africa.


Katariina Mustasilta

Leading researcher, FIIA

Katariina Mustasilta works at the European Union and Strategic Competition Research Programme of FIIA. She recently led a research project ‘Finland in Afghanistan 2001–2021’ that examined Finland’s engagement in the stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Her academic publications and policy analyses focus broadly on the causes and dynamics of conflicts and international conflict prevention and peace-building efforts. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the Government Department at the University of Essex.


Janne Taalas

Chief Executive Officer of CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation

Janne Taalas has served as CEO of CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation since May 2021. His leadership builds on 25 years of international experience in multilateral dialogue, crisis management, and peace mediation efforts. Most recently he was Special Envoy to 2020 Afghanistan Conference. Prior to this, he served in various roles, including as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador of Finland for Cyber Diplomacy, Ambassador of Finland to Rome, and as the Director of Policy Planning for the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Dr. Taalas holds Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees from the University of Oxford (St Antony's College), Master Degrees in both Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä, and a University Diploma in Development Studies from the University of Kent.