Oslo Forum Annual retreat of armed conflict mediators

and peace process actors

18-19 June 2014

 

 

The 2014 edition of the Oslo Forum, the annual international gathering of armed conflict mediators and peace process actors, will take place on 18-19 June 2014 in Oslo, Norway.

 

The retreat is organised jointly by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre), a private diplomacy and conflict mediation organisation. It will bring together senior conflict mediators, peace process actors, eminent thinkers in the field of peacemaking, as well as key decision-makers with a view to sharing reflections, experiences and lessons learnt in their efforts to manage conflicts around the world.

 

The 2014 event will gather approximately 100 participants from around the world and more than 40% of those attending will be women. The participants will include: H.E. Mr Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations;President Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States; H.E. Ms Catherine Samba-Panza, President of the Central African Republic; H.E. Mr Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway; Dr Mohammad Nahavandian, Chief of Staff of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran; H.E. Mr Jeffrey D. Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, United Nations Department of Political Affairs;Ambassador Susan D. Page, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of South Sudan; and Ms Lyse Doucet, Chief international correspondent, BBC World television and BBC World Service radio.

 

The theme of this year’s Forum will be 'Dealing with radical groups in conflicts: what can we accomplish through dialogue?' The opening plenary session of the retreat, on 18 June, will focus on the latest developments and challenges in peacemaking, as witnessed over the past year.

 

The event will also feature broad-ranging discussions, including:

  • An investigation into the growing trend of popular uprisings against democratically elected governments (e.g. Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela).
  • The use of force as a peacemaking tool: under what conditions, if any, does using force improve the prospects for negotiations?
  • Deepening sectarian rifts in the Muslim world: can third parties play a role in preventing or reducing tensions?
  • An assessment of ‘national dialogue’ as a mechanism that can assist societies emerging from conflict to manage their political transitions in a peaceful manner.
  • Progress on the Middle East and Colombian peace processes.
  • Recent developments and initiatives to de-escalate sectarian violence in the Central African Republic.
  • Local ceasefires in Syria and prospects for peace from the ground up.
  • Diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of conflict in South Sudan.

 

The Oslo Forum series of informal retreats began in 2003 and is regarded as the leading international forum of 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 gatherings, held behind closed doors, offer a unique opportunity to bring key experts and peacemaking actors together to engage in frank exchanges on what are often sensitive conflict issues. The Forum has contributed to improving understanding of peacemaking issues and mediation practice worldwide.

 

With a focus on emerging trends and challenges in peacemaking, the 2014 Forum seeks to, once again, serve as a ‘laboratory’ for exploring innovative approaches to peacemaking and as a place to test working assumptions among practitioners.

 

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

 

***END***

 

For more information on the Oslo Forum and the HD Centre or to arrange an interview, please contact Ms Flore Brannon by email at pr@hdcentre.org, or by phone on +41 22 908 11 30.

 

For media enquiries to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please contact Ms Veslemøy Lothe Salvesen by phone on +47 99 56 85 84 or +47 23 95 00 02

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