He has been involved, in one way or another, with conflict resolution in Namibia, Aceh, Northern Ireland, Central Asia, the Horn of Africa, and most recently in Kosovo.
The announcement was made in Oslo by Ole Danbolt Mjøs, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
In a first reaction to the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said that Ahtisaari really deserved the award. He said that Ahtisaaris efforts to end the war in the Kosovo in 1999 had led to an important peace agreement which was still significant to this day.
In 1999, Bildt himself had participated in the search for peace in the Balkan region as a UN mediator.