Regional Security Dialogue – What is the Nordic contribution?

Webinar · 26.05.2021 15:30 - 17:00

Wednesday 26 May 2021 at 15.30-17.00 EEST (UTC +3)

2025 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Accords. The set of dialogues that led to the agreement itself, as well as the organizations that have developed from it are often cited as a good example of effective regional security dialogue, and one of the major Nordic contributions to conflict prevention. This webinar seeks to highlight Nordic experiences of regional security dialogue and the ways in which Nordic states have sought to support such initiatives. The issue of regional security dialogue has once again come to the fore—especially in the MENA region in the background of talks on the Iran nuclear deal. What are the prospects for a regional dialogue in the MENA region and what might be the Nordic contribution?

The webinar is organized in cooperation with FIIA, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Registration by Tuesday 25 May to



Suzanne DiMaggio

Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Board Chair, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Suzanne DiMaggio is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and Asia. She is one of the foremost experts and practitioners of diplomatic dialogues with countries that have limited or no official relations with the United States, especially Iran and North Korea. For over two decades, she has led these track 1.5 and track 2 conversations to help policymakers identify pathways for diplomatic progress on a range of issues, including regional security, nonproliferation, conflict de-escalation and risk reduction, and bilateral relations. She previously was the Vice President of Global Policy Programs at the Asia Society and the Vice President at the United Nations Association of the USA. DiMaggio is the Board Chair and a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and an Associate Senior Fellow in the Disarmament, Arms Control and Nonproliferation Program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Jan Eliasson

Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board; Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Jan Eliasson is a Swedish diplomat and, as of 1 June 2017, the Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. Ambassador Eliasson was Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations from July 2012 to December 2016 and Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2006. Furthermore, he was President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in 2005–06; the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Darfur in 2007–08; the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, 1992–94; and participated, 1980–86, in the UN mission mediating in the Iran–Iraq War, which was headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden.

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.


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).