Annual international conference of armed conflict mediators and peace process actors in Oslo, Norway, 14-15 June 2016

Around 100 prominent mediators of armed conflict and peace process actors from around the world will gather in Oslo, Norway from 14 to 15 June 2016, to share their experiences of peacemaking as part of the 2016 Oslo Forum.

The Forum is organised jointly by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), a private diplomacy and conflict mediation organisation. It brings together senior conflict mediators, major actors in peace processes, key decision-makers and eminent thinkers on an annual basis to reflect on current peace processes and to strengthen the practice of conflict mediation internationally. The event also seeks to function as a ‘laboratory’ where participants can explore innovative approaches to peacemaking and test their assumptions.

Distinguished participants at the 2016 Oslo Forum will include John F. Kerry, United States Secretary of State; Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission; Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Micheline Calmy-Rey, former President of the Swiss Confederation; Jan K. Eliasson, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court; Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; as well as the Foreign Ministers of Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia and New Zealand.

The overarching theme of this year’s Forum will be ‘Adapting to a new conflict landscape’. Conflicts are increasingly shaped by sectarian tensions, geopolitical upheaval and regional rivalries which, in turn, give rise to unconventional scenarios for peacemakers, such as the seizure and administration of territory by extremist groups, state collapse, and challenges to the principle of state sovereignty. In such a rapidly changing environment, peacemakers must consider the range of tools at their disposal, and the need to adapt them to respond effectively to the new demands. The Forum will provide the ideal setting to discuss these issues.

  • The two-day event will feature panel discussions, debates and roundtable sessions on a variety of topics, including:
  • The challenges around implementing the Libyan Peace Agreement
  • The prospects for peace under a new government in Myanmar
  • The challenges to conflict prevention in Burundi
  • The peace process in Colombia
  • Mediation efforts in Cyprus
  • Updates on recent developments in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Ukraine
  • The notion of war as diplomacy and its impact on prospects for mediation
  • Making meaningful progress in intractable conflicts
  • How to negotiate ceasefires and silence the guns

The Oslo Forum was launched in 2003. It is regarded as the leading international forum for mediators and peace process actors. The series features an annual global event in June in Norway as well as regional retreats in Asia and Africa.

The informal and discreet nature of these retreats – which are held behind closed doors – offers unique opportunities to bring key experts and peacemaking actors together to engage in frank exchanges on often sensitive conflict issues.

The event aims to improve mediation practice by facilitating exchange, debate and reflection on a variety of topics as well as providing informal networking opportunities and space for conflict parties to advance their negotiations. The Forum has contributed to improving understanding of peacemaking issues and mediation practice worldwide.

Attendance at the Oslo Forum is by invitation only and the Chatham House Rule applies throughout the event. However, interviews may be arranged with participants on request.

***END***

For more information on the Oslo Forum or the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, or to arrange an interview during the retreat, please contact Flore Brannon by email at pr(at)hdcentre.org or by telephone on +41 (0)22 908 11 30.

Media enquiries for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be addressed to Kristin Enstad (email: ens(at)mfa.no, telephone: +47 482 68 835) and Frode Overland Andersen (email: foa(at)mfa.no, telephone: +47 917 22 022).

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