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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Oslo Forum 2015 - Interviews - Conflict and Peacemaking Trends
Abstract

A frank conversation with Paul Collier, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, David Harland, Mary Kaldor, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini and Steven Pinker

by
Paul Collier, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, David Harland, Mary Kaldor, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini and Steven Pinker,
3 Jul 2015
Oslo Forum 2015 - Background Paper - Russia: peacemaker with a difference
Abstract

Even as a challenger of a world order dominated by other powers, Russia has seen itself as a country that promotes and follows general principles of 'good international community-living'. These include: international law, which should apply equally to all or not at all; non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries, especially through support for pro-democracy movements; and collective, UN Security- Council-based decision-making on key international issues. Clearly, Moscow's understanding of those principles differs from that of Washington or Brussels; but, from Russia's perspective, these principles have meaning only if the world's strongest power abides by them. Otherwise other countries, such as Russia, feel that they have a right to defend their own interests as they see fit.

by
Dmitri Trenin (Carnegie Moscow Center),
3 Jul 2015
Oslo Forum 2015 - Background Paper - Norm-pushers or deal-brokers? Normative challenges of modern-day mediators
Abstract

This research shows that most mediators welcome the growing relevance of normative frameworks. However, when faced with demands to include a mushrooming set of norms in increasingly complex conflict contexts, the lack of a clear strategy on how to address them can result in an overloaded mediation agenda and the conflation of different objectives within the same process. Therefore, various norms must be categorised and prioritised in a given context. This appears to be already common practice among mediators, but is often done implicitly, without clear and transparent criteria. This paper thus proposes an approach that helps mediators to assess and navigate the challenges of including norms in mediation more systematically.

by
Sara Hellmüller, Julia Palmiano Federer and Matthias Siegfried (Swisspeace),
3 Jul 2015
Oslo Forum 2015 - Background Paper - Myanmar's ground-breaking peace process
Abstract

More progress has been made in Myanmar's peace process over the past four years than at any period since independence in 1948. The country stands at the brink of signing an historic Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) which would pave the way for a political dialogue that has the potential to resolve one of Asia's longest-running civil wars. How did we get to this point, which seemed so unlikely just a few years ago? What can those who engineered Myanmar's peace process teach us about forging agreements in difficult contexts with multiple armed groups? And what challenges are there to addressing the fundamental political drivers of the conflict?

by
Adam Cooper,
3 Jul 2015
Oslo Forum 2015 - Background Paper - Forget me, forget me not: learning the lessons of forgotten conflicts
Abstract

This paper explores two forgotten conflicts. Western Sahara is a conflict that many powerful players would like to forget; and the conflict over Transdniestria can no longer be ignored. Mediators working in forgotten conflicts face significant challenges due to lack of attention, resources and incentives. They may also have to contend with powerful forces that beneft from the status quo and thus block attempts at resolution, through means ranging from UN Security Council vetoes to a refusal to talk. Geopolitics can rapidly heat up a conflict, widening the definition of conflict parties to include external actors such as neighbouring countries, multinational companies and transnational criminal groups. lt has become imperative to design multilevel processes to engage these actors. Underlying the mediator's strategy is the choice of objective: conflict transformation, resolution, management or mitigation? The practical and ethical implications of this choice need to be presented more transparently.

by
Catherine Woollard, Dean Bialek and Nick Scott (Independent Diplomat),
3 Jul 2015

Pages

Updates

Understanding fragmentation in conflict and its impact on prospects for peace
Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham highlights a number of key findings about fragmentation and conflict, and the role of mediation in fragmented conflicts. Drawing on a range of contemporary and historical examples from global conflicts, the author examines the consequences of fragmentation for...

2017
 Forum