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