Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

Hamngatan 4/PB85
AX-22101 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
peace@peace.ax
For more contact information click here.

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The Kastelholm talks are recurring talks on peace issues, held on the Åland Islands under the patronage of former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, who attends the talks from time to time. The Kastelholm talks are held in Swedish and the talks consist of two parts. First there is a panel discussion for some 100 invited guests in the castle of Kastelholm, where a panel consisting of distinguished politicians, diplomats and researchers will discuss the topic of the year with a moderator. Secondly, a roundtable discussion is held in nearby restaurant Smakbyn. The later discussion is open to the public.

 

 

 

 

Kastelholm talks on peace 2017: Finland as a neighbour - boundaries and boundlessness over the past century  

The Kastelholm talks of 2017 will highlight the centenary celebration of Finland, discussing the topic "With Finland as a neighbour - boundaries and boundlessness over the past century".

The Kastelholm talks will be held on 30 March 2017, the day of Åland’s demilitarisation. In a discussion ranging from the past to the present and on to the future, it will be assessed how the neighbours might be viewing the developments in Finland and how Finland might view its neighbours.

When Finland gained its independence in 1917, Sweden, Russia and other countries around the Baltic Sea and in the Nordic region got a new neighbour. A little later Åland became autonomous, and hereby became an ”internal neighbour” for Finland, in a process that also engaged the surrounding world. What have the last one hundred years entailed for the neighbourhood, and what can we expect from the next century, in view of the past? What relationships and identities will Finland, Åland and their neighbours develop in a neighbourhood of transformation of a world that is becoming increasingly boundless?

The Kastelholm talks of 2017 are supported by the Government of Åland together with the foundations Svenska folkskolans vänner, Letterstedtska föreningen and the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation. The Kastelholm talks of 2017 form part of the Finnish national program for the centenary celebration of Finland.

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Finland's centenary, boundaries and boundlessness discussed at Kastelholm talks 2017

2017-04-03 07:10:29

Kastelholm peace talks 2017 were held under the theme “Finland as a neighbour – boundaries and boundlessness over the past century “. The talks formed a part of the centenary celebration of Finland. The event started with a panel discussion in the castle of Kastelholm with four invited speakers, including former Finnish Minister and High Commissioner Astrid Thors, former Swedish Minister Kristina Persson, former Ambassador René Nyberg and Norwegian peace researcher Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch. The debate was moderated by Professor Kjell-Åke Nordquist, Director of the Åland Islands Peace Institute. Nordquist initiated the discussion by asking the speakers what they would congratulate Finland for and what they think holds Finland together. An aspect that was particularly applauded was the high trust towards institutions, which was seen as one of the crucial aspects of success. The speakers also shared their assessments and experiences from the Cold War era, whereby Finland’s active role and the 1975 Helsinki Accords were underlined. The legacy of this meeting, the OSCE, was still considered utterly important in its role in solving conflicts and being one of the upholders of multilateralism in today’s Europe.

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The Kastelholm Talks 2017 – Speakers and Registration

2017-02-28 11:19:00

The Kastelholm talks of 2017 will highlight the centenary celebration of Finland, discussing the topic "With Finland as a neighbour - boundaries and boundlessness over the past century". The Kastelholm talks are recurring talks on peace issues, and are this year arranged for the third time. The Kastelholm talks will be held on 30 March 2017, the day of Åland’s demilitarisation. The panel consists of former Minister and High Commissioner Astrid Thors from Finland; former Minister Kristina Persson from Sweden; former Ambassador René Nyberg from Finland, and peace researcher and Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch from Norway.

The Kastelholm talks are held in Swedish and consist of two parts. First there is a panel discussion for some 100 invited guests in the castle of Kastelholm, where the panel will discuss the topic of the year with a moderator. Secondly, a roundtable discussion will be held in the nearby restaurant Smakbyn, that is open to the public. The registration opens on February 27 and closes on March 10. Please register here​.

Learn more about the Kastelholm talks here.

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Kastelholm talks 2016: ”A sustainable peace around the Baltic Sea – new times, new issues”

2016-04-06 12:58:27

On 30 March 2016, the day of Åland’s demilitarisation, the Kastelholm talks were held for the second time at the Castle of Kastelholm on Åland. This year the topic of the discussion was ”A sustainable peace around the Baltic Sea – new times, new issues”. The Kastelholm talks are held under the patronage of former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen. This year, President Halonen discussed with a panel consisting of Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Parliament of Finland and the Foreign Minister's Special Representative for Peace Mediation; Lena Ek, chairperson of the Forestry Group Södra and former minister for the environment in Sweden; Said Mahmoudi, professor of international law at Stockholm University and Hanna Ojanen, Jean Monnet professor at the University of Tampere. Associate professor Sia Spilipoulou Åkermark, Research Director at the Åland Islands Peace Institute, acted as the moderator of the event. The discussion was held before an invited audience.

Later in the day, a follow-up round table discussion was be held in nearby Restaurant Smakbyn. The panel and the audience from the castle as well as other interested parties participated. At the round table discussion, four commentaters held speeches which were subsequently discussed by the audience. The commentators were the Peace Institute's two senior advisers, former MP Gunnar Jansson and peace researcher Pertti Joenniemi as well as by Professor Timo Koivurova and Petra Granholm, vice president of the environmental organization Ålands natur och miljö and also a member of the Åland Sustainability Council.

The round table discussion was moderated by the Peace Institute Director Kjell-Åke Nordquist.

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Photo: Elias Vartio and Karita Kostiainen

The theme ”A sustainable peace around the Baltic Sea – new times, new issues” had been chosen in view of recent changes - both as significant events and long-term trends - in the Baltic region. These changes affect our societies in depth and need to be taken into consideration in order to sustain peace and security in the region.

Developments after the end of the Cold War, the accession to the EU, enhanced security and military cooperation, climate changes, new wars, and demographic changes have brought us new challenges, but also new opportunities. Which events, factors and areas are the most important to consider if we want to see a peaceful development and how should this be addressed? Can economic, demographic and/or environmental challenges invigorate solutions that contribute to peace and security in the Baltic region? How can we preserve and develop democracy in our neighbourhood?

Kastelholm talks 2014

2014-03-01 14:08:48

On 28 March 2014, the first Kastelholm talks were arranged, i.e. discussions about peace under the auspices of President Halonen, at the Kastelholm Castle on Åland. The Panel of the first talk consisted of Mr. Erkki Tuomioja, the Foreign Minister of Finland, Ms. Britt Bohlin, the Director of the Nordic Council, Mr. Hans Wallmark, Swedish Member of Parliament and Vice-President of the Nordic Council as well as Ms. Aud Lise Norheim, Director General at the Department for UN, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs at the  Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Norway.

The panelists at Kastelholm highlighted that there are many reasons to consider Norden a zone of peace and that there is international interest in the experiences of the Nordic countries. At the same time, there may be a risk of being viewed as self-righteous, which is why it is important to critically assess the experiences and to promote dialogue rather than a missionary attitude in international relations. 

Right after the Kastelholm talks an open peace forum was held at nearby Smakbyn with civil society representatives from all the Nordic countries. At the open forum the civil society representatives discussed the differences between the Nordic countries and the diversity within the peace movement. This discussion brought forward the differences in the self-images of the Nordic countries in relation to militarism and peace  and trends within the Nordic countries that might not be considered as particularly peaceful. 

Pictures from Kastelholm talks 2014 and the Nordic peace forum:

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Photographer: Alexandra Zhukova

 

Two more speakers for Kastelholm talks on Åland

2014-02-28 11:14:01

Hans_WallmarkAudLiseNorheim2014Hans Wallmark, Swedish Member of Parliament and Vice-President of the Nordic Council, and Aud Lise Norheim, Director General at the Department for UN, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs at the  Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Norway have accepted the invitation to participate in Kastelholm talks under the patronage of President Halonen at the castle of Kastelholm on Åland 28.3.2014. They will thus join the Foreign Minister of Finland Mr Erkki Tuomioja and the Director of the Nordic Council Ms. Britt Bohlin in the panel that will discuss the theme of "Norden and peace" with President Halonen herself.

Foreign Minister Tuomioja and Nordic Council Director Bohlin in Kastelholm talks with President Halonen

2014-02-03 09:09:27
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On 28 March the Foreign Minister of Finland, Mr. Erkki Tuomioja and the Director of the Nordic Council Ms. Britt Bohlin will discuss the theme of Norden and peace with former President of Finland Ms. Tarja Halonen at the Katstelholm castle on Åland. The president is committed to be the protector of recurring discussions about peace with Nordic speakers, arranged by the Peace Institute at the castle of Kastelholm on Åland with invited guests in the audience.

In connection to the talk a Nordic forum, open to the public will be arranged in nearby Smakbyn.

President Halonen patron of ”Kastelholm talks” on peace

2013-12-19 12:02:47

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Former President of Finland Ms Tarja Halonen is committed to be the protector of the so-called ”Kastelholm talks”, discussions about peace with Nordic speakers, arranged by the Peace Institute at the castle of Kastelholm on Åland with invited guests in the audience.

The Kastelholm talks are planned to be reccuring conversations on peace issues under the patronage of President Halonen and with prominent Nordic politicians, diplomats, officials and researchers as panelists. The theme for 2014 will be Norden and peace. 

In connection to the talk a Nordic forum, open to the public will be arranged in nearby Smakbyn.

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