Currently serving as President Emeritus, Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) was elected President of the Assembly at the 2014 Annual Session in Baku and re-elected in Helsinki in 2015.
He is the first person to have served as both OSCE PA President and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Organization's history, having held the latter post in 2008. In addition to serving as President Emeritus, Kanerva is currently the OSCE PA Special Representative on Mediation.
First elected to his national legislature in 1975, Kanerva is the longest standing member of the Finnish Parliament. He has held a wide variety of posts in government and parliament, including service as a Minister in the Ministry of Finance (1987-1995), Minister of Transport (1990-1991), Deputy Prime Minister (1991), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2007-2008), Deputy Speaker of Parliament (2003-2007), Chair of the Parliamentary Defence Committee (1999-2003) and Chair of the Parliamentary Security and Defence Reflecting Group (2012-2013). He was again chosen to serve as Chair of the Parliamentary Defence Committee in 2015.
Kanerva was Head of the Finnish Delegation to the OSCE PA from 2003 to 2007 and 2008 to 2015. Elected Vice-President of the Assembly in 2013 to fill a vacancy, he has also served as a member of the OSCE PA’s Subcommittee on the Rules of Procedure and as Co-Chair of the OSCE PA’s Helsinki +40 Project.