Pekka Haavisto was born in Helsinki on 23 March 1958. He was a Member of Parliament in 1983–1995 and was returned to Parliament in 2007. In 1995–1999, he served as Minister of Development and the Environment and in 2013–2014 as Minister for International Development. In 1993–1995 and in 2018–2019, he was Party Leader of the Greens in Finland. He has also served several years as a member of the Helsinki City Council. He stood as a candidate in the presidential election in Finland in 2012 and in 2018.
He has gained wide experience of various areas of foreign policy, for example, while chairing the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Task Forces on environmental impacts of war in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, occupied Palestinian territory and Sudan. He has also worked as the EU Special Representative for Sudan and Darfur, Special Advisor for the UN (ASG) in the Darfur peace process, and Special Representative to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in African crises.
In addition, he has served in several positions of trust, including President of the Board of the European Institute of Peace (EIP) in 2016–2019, Chair of the Board of the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses in 2014–2019, and Chair of WWF Finland’s Board of Trustees.
Haavisto has worked as Editor-in-Chief of several publications, including Vihreä Lanka magazine. Additionally, he has authored many books, the most recent one, Eurooppa raiteilla (Europe on rails), in 2018. His main interests are books, cycling, wooden boats and cultural backyards. Haavisto lives in a registered partnership.