Haavisto was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1987 to 1995. He was the chairperson of the Green League from 1993 to 1995. He served as the Minister of the Environment in Paavo Lipponen's first cabinet between 1995 and 1999. He was the first European cabinet minister representing a Green party.
From 1999 to 2005, Haavisto worked for the United Nations in various tasks. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) research groups in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Palestine and Sudan. He also coordinated the UN investigation in the effects of depleted uranium in Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Haavisto also represented the UNEP in the investigations in the Baia Mare mining accident in Romania. In 2005 he was appointed as the special representative of the European Union in Sudan where he participated in the Darfur peace talks.
In 2007 and 2011 Haavisto was re-elected to the parliament from the electoral district of Helsinki.
Pekka Haavisto is a Finnish politician and minister representing the Green League. He returned to the Finnish Parliament in the Finnish parliamentary election of March 2007 after an absence of 12 years and was re-elected again in 2011. In October 2013 he was appointed as the Minister for International Development after Heidi Hautala resigned from the job. He has also been a member of the Helsinki City Council. Haavisto lives in a registered partnership with Nexar Antonio Flores (born 1978), who originally comes from Ecuador, whom he met in 1997.
In 2011, Haavisto was nominated as the Green League candidate for the Finnish presidential election of 2012. In the first round of the election on 22 January 2012, he finished second with 18.8 percent of the votes. In the run-off on 5 February, he garnered more than one million votes (37.4 percent), yet still losing to the National Coalition Party candidate, former Finance Minister Sauli Niinistö.
Haavisto was the first openly homosexual candidate and the first candidate to have served in non-military service instead of the regular military service to make it to the second round of presidential elections in Finland.
After completing the matriculation examination of the upper secondary school, Haavisto began studying social sciences at the University of Helsinki but did not complete the degree. As a young man he chose non-military service over armed service in the Defence Forces.
According to the ranking of the Finnish Ulkopolitiikka magazine in 2009 Pekka Haavisto was internationally the 5th most influential person in Finland.
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