The Oslo Forum series aims to facilitate a frank and open exchange of insights by those working at the highest level to bring warring parties together to find negotiated solutions. Oslo Forum retreats are carved around a topical and challenging agenda, which relates concretely to the concerns mediators of armed conflict face on a daily basis. As practitioners are reluctant to publicly discuss and reflect their experiences given the politically sensitive nature of their work, all Oslo Forum retreats are subject to Chatham House Rule and take place in a uniquely informal ambiance.


Annual global retreat

The annual global gathering of conflict mediation practitioners in Oslo is the centre piece of the Oslo Forum series. Each year in June, this global retreat convenes senior conflict mediators, high-level decision makers and other major actors in peace processes. The annual global retreat offers an opportunity to draw on comparative and innovative approaches across regions and institutions for a comprehensive overview of mediation experiences, challenges and opportunities.

Regional retreats

Participants at the Oslo Forum 2004 suggested an interest in looking at conflict mediation from a regional perspective. From this was born the concept of regional mediators' retreats that would enable mediators and other senior peace process actors to assess the prospects and pitfalls for conflict resolution in the context of their particular region. Like the global retreats, the regional retreats are organised by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) with the support of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but draw on strong regional partners; such as the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation in Tanzania and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) in China.


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Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007
23-25 April 2007, Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue co-hosted with the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation the first retreat for senior mediators and key peace process actors in and from Africa.

The Retreat examined current mediation processes, including in Darfur and Somalia. Participants discussed the challenges of implementing agreements and of long-term peace-building, the recent development in the Cote d’Ivoire peace process, the current capacity for and practice of mediation in Africa and the role of the International Criminal Court.

Asia Mediators' Retreat 2006
27-29 November 2006, Singapore

Challenges and opportunities for conflict mediation in Asia

The Asia Mediators' Retreat 2006 was dedicated to practical discussions about current peace processes and peace-building efforts. Also, the role of autonomy arrangements in efforts to resolve conflict was scrutinized.

Oslo Forum 2006
26-28 June 2006, Oslo

Mediating today's conflicts for tomorrow's peace: Improving practice by confronting reality

The fourth annual event of its kind, the Oslo forum 2006 focused on the delicate balance mediators need to strike between the needs of a particular mediation process and growing demands at the international level such as human rights standards, the war on terror and restrictions on whom to engage with.

The Oslo forum 2006 was exceptional in bringing together senior conflict mediators and other key peace process actors, who seek to resolve conflict through dialogue, in total some 65 participants. Participants benefited from active discussions with selected guest speakers, including Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary General of the Council of the European Union.

Asia Mediators' Retreat 2005
21-22 November 2005, Singapore

It's time to talk

Following recommendations of participants at the Oslo forum, the Asia Mediators' Retreat 2005 was the first regional retreat to focus on Asia and explore regional challenges and approaches, notably in dealing with armed groups.

Oslo Forum 2005
27-28 June 2005, Oslo

Conflict mediation: diverse approaches, common dilemmas

With global military spending at a longtime high, continuing inter-state wars and proposals for the creation of a UN Peacebuilding Commission and a UN Mediation Support Unit, the Oslo forum 2005 had a vast array of topics to draw from. Is the international community consistent enough in its ambition to resolve armed conflict given the insufficient collaboration and cooperation between actors? Will a UN Peacebuilding Commission have the strength to overcome this challenge? How can patience in peacebuilding and peacemaking be reconciled with the immediate demands to end murderous wars and to meet international standards? Some 30 participants discussed these and other issues, and sought to jointly examine their different approaches.



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.