Resources

Resources

The Oslo Forum process strives to critically examine the current practice of conflict mediation. The themes raised at each event are intended to provoke discussions, suggest interesting questions and propose new or unconventional approaches. 

Background papers and interviews are prepared prior to the retreats to set the tone for discussions and to sensitise participants to current debates and innovative ideas.

Background papers and interviews do not represent the positions of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).

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Africa Mediators' Retreat 2011 - Meeting Report
Abstract

The Africa Mediators’ Retreat 2011 took place from 23-25 November in Zanzibar, Tanzania. It was co-hosted by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation.
The forty two participants included representatives from the African Union,the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and other regional organisations as well as governments, and African and international NGOs. Forty per cent were women with a wide range of experience as mediators, human rights defenders, diplomats, and in community-based approaches to peacemaking.
The retreat as a whole presented an opportunity for a sober stock-take of the complexity of the conflicts, and post-conflict transitions, underway across Africa. Participants engaged with seriousness and frankness facilitated, in part, by the informal atmosphere within the retreat. They did not shy away from acknowledging the challenges ahead but they left Zanzibar with some new ideas, having had some good conversations – even arguments – and pleased to have had an opportunity to reconnect with their peers and to lay the groundwork for new partnerships.

by
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,
12 Aug 2015
Oslo Forum 2010 - Meeting Report
Abstract

The Oslo forum 2010 brought together 90 mediators and peace process actors to consider current challenges in mediation. Participants closely examined current conflicts in Afghanistan, Sudan, and Iraq, as well as cross-cutting issues such as transnational militants, fragmented conflict parties, and gender-sensitive peace processes. Participants were also invited to challenge their assumptions on a variety of mediation topics in a series of short and provocative debates.
The forum was particularly notable for the presence of different types of mediators – both state and non-state – leading to interesting discussions on the opportunities and challenges these different mediators bring to resolving conflicts. There was much optimism about the potential for synergies between new and traditional mediators, though there was also concern about a lack of coordination between actors.
A recurring theme throughout discussions was a questioning of the focus on securing peace agreements over a focus on the quality of the process. Many stressed the importance of patience in peace processes, and in particular the necessity of dealing with difficult parties and issues, even if this delayed clinching an agreement. Participants examined the implications of this in Afghanistan, Kenya, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Liberia, and the Philippines. In contrast, there was concern expressed about the slow pace of negotiations in Sudan and Iraq, and the risk that not reaching agreements would lead to renewed violence.

by
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,
12 Aug 2015
Asia Mediators' Retreat 2010 - Meeting Report
Abstract

The Asian Mediation Retreat 2010 has taken place in Hanoi, Vietnam from 2-4 November 2010. The Retreat was cohosted by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, in cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. The Asian Mediation Retreat 2010 is the fourth regional retreat in Asia as part of the Oslo forum series.

by
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,
12 Aug 2015
Oslo forum 2009 - Meeting Report
Abstract

Some 90 participants gathered at the Oslo forum 2009 to discuss openly how mediation and diplomacy can adapt and respond to the current changing environment. The meeting considered how to reassert diplomacy as the premier instrument for the resolution of armed conflict, and how to improve its effectiveness. Those attending were senior mediators of armed conflict, representatives of governments and international organisations, and outstanding analysts and decision makers.
The motivations, key challenges and prospects for efforts to promote discreet dialogue between the US and Iran were debated, as were the implications of North Korea’s recent demonstrations of its nuclear capability on the progress of the Six Party Talks. Participants also exchanged experiences on a number of specific conflict situations, including Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines, and the forum included an assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and of the lessons from (not) dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah. Other sessions included a discussion of the challenges of preparing conflict parties for negotiations, and a review of the roles and impact of regional mediators. There was also a practical exchange on how mediators can work in military environments, and a discussion of the impact of international justice on peace processes.

by
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,
12 Aug 2015
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2009 - Meeting Report
Abstract

The African Mediators’ Retreat aims to provide a forum where those involved in conflict resolution across Africa can discuss openly the challenges they face, seek ideas for addressing them and build professional ties to foster cooperation.
The Retreat convened more than 60 participants, including representatives from the United Nations, African regional organisations, and governments, as well as independent analysts.
Participants shared their experiences in a number of focus discussions on the peace processes in Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, as well as in a session exploring the extent to which mediators should include economic issues in the talks, especially concerning natural resources. Other discussion topics included: the challenges for mediators in dealing with rebel groups, with a special focus on Chad/Darfur and Uganda; the impact of international justice on peace processes with a particular focus on the indictment of the Sudanese president; how to deal effectively with external actors in peace processes; the role of mediation in the post-agreement phase; and an assessment of the role of mediation in preventing and managing conflict in the wake of transferring power through elections.

by
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,
12 Aug 2015

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Updates

2nd Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is launching the second edition of the Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, an essay competition seeking bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges.