Armistice commemorations, peace talks for President in Paris

Niinistö joins 80 other world leaders to mark the end of World War One and attend a peace conference.

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US President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emanuel Macron (R) meet during WWI armistice commemorations in Paris 10.11.2018 / Credit: Elysée

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö will join dozens of other world leaders at a peace conference in Paris today.

Niinistö is in the French capital this weekend to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One, and the date the armistice was signed between foes 100 years ago on 11th November 1918.

The President’s visit began with a formal dinner on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning he marks the end of ‘The Great War’ beneath the Arc de Triomphe with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, American President Donald Trump and some 80 other world leaders.

Paris Peace Forum

The focus of the day continues to be peace, with the inaugural Paris Peace Forum taking place.

The event is the brainchild of Macron, and brings together “states, international organizations, local governments, NGOs and foundations, companies, experts, journalists, trade unions, religious groups and citizens” according to the official website.

It is funded in large part by Microsoft; insurance giant AXA; French banking group BNP Paribas; and government departments from France, Germany and Abu Dhabi, among other benefactors with deep pockets.

The aim of the three day event is to show that multilateralism and cooperation are the keys to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace.

American President Donald Trump will not be attending Peace Forum, but other attendees include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Writing on Twitter, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres says he is “honoured” to be in Paris for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, and to attend the Paris Peace Forum.

“The United Nations was created to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’ and peace remains at the core of everything we do” says the Portuguese politician.