Saturday, October 11, 2008

Martti Ahtisaari and philately

Former president of the Republic of Finland, awarded Nobel Prize of Peace this week, Martti Ahtisaari has been working for the development of Southern continents' countries and Peace for all his adult life, at the United Nations before his presidency, and after. Though, some are very critical for his actions in Kosovo, because it leaded to the independence of this region, and potentially created a precedent for all ethnical population feeling menaced inside their country.

The honor of a postage stamp by his own country already happened in 1997, for his 60th birthday. The Finnish post seems to have this custom to stamp the president around the middle of his term, like Tarja Halonen in 2003.

He revealed a child past of stamp collector in a speech while receiving the chief of government of Andorra, Marc Forné, in November 1999. The text is written in a political neutral language, but he linked the two countries thank to philately, despite their bright new relationships:

"My generation learned about your country at an early age, when stamp collecting was one of our main hobbies. I still remember how exciting it was to obtain Andorra's splendid stamps for our modest collections. They were the pride of our collection. Thanks to our hobby we also learned exactly where to place Andorra on the European map."

Update, 30 October 2008 :, specialised in new issue announcements, reports the arrival on 10 December 2008 of Finland's second stamps picturing the former president and now Nobel Price of Peace.

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