In commemoration of Benjamin Bassin, Honorary Member of the Club of Rome

by Esko Kalimo, Full Member of the Club of Rome


Ambassador, LL.M., passed away in Helsinki, Finland, on 27 March 2018. He was born in Helsinki on 18 January 1944.

Bassin had his schooling in Helsinki and graduated as Master of Laws from the University of Helsinki in 1968. Directly after this he commenced a long career of work in the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First, he had various tasks in development cooperation for six years. Bassin became closely familiar with the United Nations, when he was stationed at the Finnish UN Office in New York during 1975-1980. After that he returned to Finland for work at the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for three years.

His career in diplomatic service in Asia initiated in 1983, when he was assigned to duty in the Finnish Embassy in Tokyo. Three years later he was appointed the first ambassador of Finland to Thailand. In 1990 he returned to Finland to serve as the head of the Department of Cooperation. These duties continued for three years, and then Bassin moved to serve as the negotiating officer at the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1995 he was transferred to new diplomatic topmost posts in Asia. First, he was appointed ambassador of Finland to India and six years later ambassador of Finland to China for 2001-2005.

After having worked in various sectors of Finnish foreign service, Bassin became deeply interested in ultimate problems of global scale. His activities highlighted internationality and globalism with a futures orientation. This attracted the attention within the Club of Rome, which invited Bassin as a full member in 1994. Then back in Finland, he joined the activities of the Finnish National Association of the Club and soon became one of its prominent resources with his wide experience and pioneering conceptions.

He understood profoundly the various risks facing the future of humankind and discussions with him were always inspiring. He was able to analyse the forthcoming developments for a purpose of structuring activities and was thus often instrumental in focusing innovative ideas to concrete action. As a recognition for his contributions, the Club of Rome nominated Bassin as an honorary member of the Club in 2013.

Within the Club of Rome, Bassin was immensely enjoyed as a humane personality, whose views were always based on a strong understanding of essential facts. He quickly came to the point but always with a generous and jolly sense of humour.

The Club of Rome commemorates Benjamin Bassin and his work and keeps his memory of one of the most brilliant members alive.

by Esko Kalimo

Full member of the Club of Rome