Historical archive

Mediators’ Retreat to be held in Oslo on 18-19 June

Historical archive

Published under: Bondevik's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"Today’s armed conflicts are complex and cause untold human suffering. Promoting the peaceful resolution of such conflicts is equally complex. This retreat provides a good opportunity for us to share the experience we have gained from many different peace processes and discuss conflict-resolution strategies," said State Secretary Vidar Helgesen, who will be chairing the retreat. (17.06.03)

Press release

No.: 120/03
Date: 17 June 2003

Mediators’ Retreat to be held in Oslo on 18-19 June

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organising, in collaboration with the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, Geneva, a retreat in Oslo on 18 and 19 June for a select group of internationally recognised mediators who have been involved in peace processes. "Today’s armed conflicts are complex and cause untold human suffering. Promoting the peaceful resolution of such conflicts is equally complex. This retreat provides a good opportunity for us to share the experience we have gained from many different peace processes and discuss conflict-resolution strategies," said State Secretary Vidar Helgesen, who will be chairing the retreat.

In many of the seemingly insoluble conflicts that have moved closer to peaceful resolution during the past ten years, the role played by external mediators has been decisive in enabling conflicting parties to arrive at agreements and solutions. The peace mediators who are coming to Oslo have not only been involved in successful processes, they have also experienced setbacks, derailing and conflicts that flare up again. The mediators have very different backgrounds and have represented different kinds of actors: the UN and other international organisations, NGOs and individual countries. Many different actors are involved in conflict resolution, and this retreat provides an opportunity for them to discuss different approaches to this process. "The international community benefits from the efforts of people who have a strong, broad-based commitment, particularly when mediation efforts are co-ordinated and grounded in expertise and experience," said Mr. Helgesen.

The Center for Human Dialogue took the initiative for the retreat. "Norway has played an active role in several peace processes, including the current process in Sri Lanka. Therefore, when the idea arose of organising a retreat for peace mediators, who rarely have an opportunity to come together to discuss and share their experience, it was logical for us to collaborate with the Norwegian Foreign Ministry ," said Martin Griffiths, Director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Press contact: Information Adviser Cathrine Andersen, tel.: +47 22 24 38 27, mobile phone: +47 911 36 410.

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