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CONCURRENT SESSION 1: The Conference on the Establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear and All Other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East: Developing the Agenda

Lars BACKSTROM, Ambassador & Deputy to the Facilitator, Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland

Lars Erik Bäckström joined Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Diplomatic Attaché in 1980. He served as Second Secretary and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Ankara, Turkey (1983–1986); as First Secretary and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Lagos, Nigeria (1986–1989). He was a Desk Officer for Central and Eastern Europe of MFA in Helsinki (19891991). From 1991 until 1994 he served as Counsellor (Political Affairs) at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, New York. He also worked as a Counsellor (EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy) at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium (1994–1997); as a Director for Humanitarian Assistance, MFA, Helsinki (19972005). In 2005 he was appointed Ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and occupied that position for a period of four years. From 2009 until 2013 he served as Ambassador to the People's Republic of China and Mongolia, and in 2013 he was appointed Ambassador and Deputy Facilitator (MEWMDFZ) of MFA in Helsinki.