“At the time of writing, the end of the year is approaching, and what a year it’s been!
We’ve been working flat out the whole year and, in addition to everything else, we conducted interviews – each one thoroughly planned – with no less than 170 people. Those interviews could have never taken place without the fantastic response we received at our coffee meetings, symposiums and other get-togethers. It’s been truly rewarding to see how extremely interested and engaged people are. For me personally, it was a privilege hearing their stories – both positive and negative. At the same time, I must confess that the work has sometimes been both frustrating and trying, and I believe this feeling is shared by my colleagues in the secretariat and members of the commission.
This year, we have also collected and analysed a number of research reports and submitted an interim report to the Minister. The interviews were printed out as written accounts and analysed. We have now begun drafting our final report, which is no easy task either. The members of the commission have mulled over questions like: What is ‘truth’? What is meant by ‘redress and reconciliation’? What are ‘abuses’ or ‘violations’? I’m sure you can imagine…
In the second half of the year, we geared up for a new phase of analysis and writing. The secretariat was reinforced with new staff, while others left to take on new challenges. It’s almost impossible to overstate how much all of our colleagues – former and current – have meant for our work. We would never have come this far without everyone’s devoted efforts. Thank you!
In mid-December, the commission’s members met for two intensive days in Stockholm. Discussions were lively and constructive, and I believe that all the members felt that we made a lot of progress even if we didn’t always agree on everything. But that’s how it should be.
Ahead of next year, we’re planning to deepen dialogue with our sister commissions in Norway and Finland. We’ve held introductory discussions on potential joint proposals. This requires continued intensive dialogue with both our Nordic friends and with the minority groups. Early next year, we also plan to hold a number of consultation meetings with the minority groups and other relevant partners. We always strive to work inclusively so that everyone feels they can make their voice heard.
We’re delighted to start the new year by welcoming a new member. Hanna Aili, social anthropologist and former chair of the Met Nuoret youth organisation will be filling the vacancy left by Josephine Ylipää when she moved to the secretariat.
And now I’d like to wish all our newsletter readers and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We’ll meet again soon.”