Matti Wuori, founder of Greenpeace Finland and the former Board Chair of Greenpeace International from 1991 - 1993.
Matti was a Renaissance man who could read 13 languages and was
asarticulate about art, literature, and music as he was outspoken
abouthuman rights and environmentalism. He believed passionately
inthe importance of non-governmental organisations (NGO's) as a
foil tocorporations and governments in civil society, and he served
as anadviser or board member to more than a dozen of them.
"Matti Wuori was a strong, visionary voice within civil society
groupsin Europe. He worked tirelessly to protect the environment
and humanrights, as well as strengthen the position of
non-governmentalorganisations in society."
"Wuori was a 'global citizen' in the true meaning of the word.
He didnot hesitate to criticise polluting governments and companies
whoviolate legal and ethical environmental guidelines" said
ExecutiveDirector, Lennart Daleus at Greenpeace Nordic.
Matti's work at Greenpeace was not complete. This autumn he was
set tolead a fact-finding mission on the violation of international
law inlogging operations in the indigenous Sámi homeland in
Northern Finland.Wuori was committed to represent the Sámi reindeer
herders at theEuropean Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
"I remember well how Matti reminded NGO activists in Brussels
that thecore business of any NGO should be to pose nasty questions
todecision-makers. Matti wanted non-governmental organisations to
work aswatch dogs and alarm clocks in society. He often reminded us
about thedangers of becoming marionettes for governments or
companies. Wepromise to live up to his expectations and carry on
his impressivework" said Campaign Director, Mads Christensen at
Greenpeace Nordic inHelsinki.
"Matti was chairman of Greenpeace International from 1991 to
1993. Anincredibly talented environmental and human rights
campaigner, Mattiplayed a series of very significant roles here at
Greenpeace. Hisenergy and commitment will be greatly missed" said
Jeanne Moffat, BoardMember of Greenpeace International.
Matti was also a board member of Greenpeace in the Czech
republicand Hungary until his death. In addition to his work
atGreenpeace, Matti was a prominent Finnish lawyer and
formerMember of the EuropeanParliament. He also worked as an
adviser to the South African Truth andReconciliation Commission
from 1996 until 1998.
In a rich and varied lifetime, Matti was called upon to
giveexpert testimony in spotting fraudulent artwork, acted in a
featurefilm (in which he played, not surprisingly, a Finnish
lawyer), servedon the board of the Avanti! chamber orchestra, wrote
two books andlectured on human rights, democracy, and
constitutional law. He wasalso known to dance an inimitable
Matti succumbed to a long battle with cancer.
"He was that rarest of combinations: a scholar and an
activist. He'd looked human civilization hard in the eye, saw it
for what it was,and set about the task of redressing its ills,
while never losing sightof its beauty," said Greenpeace
International Board Chair Anne Summers.