Norway: Norway hosts confab of armed conflict mediators, peace process actors

Oslo, Norway (PANA) - 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 organisers announced on Wednesday.

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.

In a statement the organisers said 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 statement said 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," the statement said.

"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, including the challenges around implementing the Libyan Peace Agreement; the challenges to conflict prevention in Burundi; the notion of war as diplomacy and its impact on prospects for mediation; making meaningful progress in intractable conflicts
and 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 statement said 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.

It noted that the Forum has contributed to improving understanding of peacemaking issues and mediation practice worldwide.
-0- PANA MA 8June2016

08 june 2016 10:47:14

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