Mediators Reflect on Today’s Peacemaking in Oslo


Some of the world’s most experienced mediators, high-level decision makers and key peace process actors will meet in Oslo, Norway, from 16-18 June 2009, to share their experiences of peacemaking and reflect on current mediation processes.

The focus of this year’s forum is “Reasserting diplomacy and mediation in a fragmented world”, focusing on the utility of mediation versus that of military force to resolve conflicts. How can mediation and diplomacy be made more relevant and effective? Issues will include experiences of negotiating with organised Islamist groups; assessments of the potential for dialogue in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the threat of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation to peacemaking.

Participants will share their perspectives on conflict resolution and mediation in an informal setting behind closed doors.

The retreat will be inaugurated on 16 June 2009 with an opening speech by Liberian Foreign Minister, Olubanke King-Akerele. Participants to this year’s events include Jonas Gahr Støre, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary- General for the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Mr Ahmed Abdisalam Adan, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, and Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Former United States Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

The event is co-hosted by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Geneva-based mediation organisation, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre). It is part of a process known as the Oslo forum – an on-going series of informal and discreet retreats for those actively engaged in peace processes around the world. It features an annual global gathering in Oslo, Norway, and regional events in Asia and Africa.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue is an independent organisation dedicated to improving the global response to armed conflict. It mediates directly between belligerents and helps others to do the same. The HD Centre is active in approximately 15 conflicts around the world, some of which are necessarily confidential.

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