Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gives a press conference in Vienna, on December 2, 2021. - Kurz, long hailed a political whizz kid until resigning after being implicated in a corruption investigation, announced he is leaving politics. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

In my experience, there are basically three reasons why people run for office: ego, power, and money. I don’t mean to say this in a cynical way. As Sebastian Kurz, former chancellor of Austria, said, we are all humans.

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An illustration of a Finnish womens prison in Hämeenlinna.

In my last column for the Helsinki Times I spoke about why an independent Scotland would be a good fit for the Nordic Council. Since then, the SNP have proposed adopting a Finnish approach to Scottish prisons, in one of several moves in the recent past to further align Scotland with the Nordic nations.

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Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran is serious, acts in good faith, and considers the practical and tangible result to be the removal of sanctions.

The path travelled

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The Finland - Russia border sign at Pelkola, Imatra on 12th of November 2021.

"It is unlikely that Russia, the inheritor of Soviet Union, would relentlessly and temporarily renounce a century-long border doctrine, unless the motive is a major political upheaval."

When there are concerns about the eastern border and the opposition demands action, a cold calculation is important.

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May 4, 2019 Pro-Scottish Independence activists march through the streets of Glasgow with Saltire- themed flags, banners and sunglasses during the All Under One Banner March for Independence. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Dear Anthony Heron,

I was delighted to see your column in the Helsinki Times this past weekend, arguing that Scotland would be a good fit for the Nordic Council.

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Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The presence of U.S. troops and their allied forces in Afghanistan, as well as their embarrassing, catastrophic departure, has left in its wake an overwhelmingly disorganized country and an agitated and anguished nation, causing an ambiguous future for a country which suffered military invasion in a modern fashion under the clichéd slogan of democratic development.

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Tunisian security officers hold back protesters outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country's parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. - Tunisia was plunged deeper into crisis as President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi late July 25, prompting the country's biggest political party to decry a "coup d'etat". LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Since the 25th of July 2021, the eyes of many people are on Tunisia. That day, the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, invoked the emergency article of Tunisia’s constitution, dismissed the Prime Minister, froze the activity of the Parliament and lifted the immunity from its members.

A few hours before these decisions, many Tunisians took to the street under an excruciating 40°C midday sun and in violation of the COVID 19 restrictions to express their anger, dismay and dissatisfaction calling for the dissolution of the Parliament.

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Climate change demands a global response

There are many obstacles to the reform of the current world order. Counter-perceptions and ingrained thoughts are so strong that many simply do not care to deal with the problem. The globe is too fragmented, the nation states are strong, and the great powers will never give up their privileges.

The nation states do not disappear, but they should, in their own interest, agree to new rules of the game.

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Min. Pär Stenbäck, with one of his books on salvation of democracy published in spring 2019

Today is International Youth Day. It should be celebrated as such, but like many of the days designated by the UN, it passes by rather unnoticed. For me, the day, the month and the year have a personal meaning. Thirty years ago, a couple of American friends and I founded the International Youth Foundation, which over the years has become a major player in preventive youth work.

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Human languages family tree, 2014.

When community meetings are held to determine priority development projects in villages, in neighborhoods, in schools, in agricultural fields—wherever they may take place—we want to speak the language that is spoken there, spoken every day. The idea of a person or a community of people exploring what they most want in their lives should be as real and as connected to their notion of "self" as possible.

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