Mediators Meet in Oslo, Norway June 27,28

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Twenty of the worldÂ?s most eminent conflict mediators will meet in Oslo, Norway June 27,28 to share experiences and improve the practice of mediating between warring factions all over the world.

Twenty of the world’s most eminent conflict mediators will meet in Oslo, Norway, June 27 and 28 to share experiences and improve the practice of mediating between warring factions all over the world.

The third annual Mediators’ Retreat of active and experienced mediators will be co-hosted by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Geneva-based conflict mediation organization, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

The meeting will be held in a discreet environment to encourage problem-solving and the open exchange of learning and experience.

Martin Griffiths, director of the HD Centre, that has facilitated processes in Aceh, Burundi, Darfur, Myanmar, and the Philippines among others, is co-chair of the meeting, and remarks:

“The retreat falls at an important time. Despite the persistence of complex armed conflicts there is a window of opportunity for serious mediation efforts. Radical proposals for UN reform are encouraging and opening up space for mediation efforts as never before. This is an opening that mediators both inside and outside the UN need to make the most of.”    

While the closed door retreat focuses on engaging senior mediators, active at a political level, it also includes participants familiar with and involved in significant civil society peace initiatives.    

Participants include UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Special Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi, and envoys Alvaro de Soto (Middle East), Jean Arnault (Afghanistan), and Terje Roed-Larsen (Lebanon), and Søren Jessen-Petersen (Kosovo), as well as senior advisors nominated by individual countries engaged in mediation efforts, including Norway’s own envoys Eric Solheim and Vidar Helgesen, and South Africa’s Ebrahim Ebrahim, (Burundi and Cote d’Ivoire). Betty Bigombe (Northern Uganda) is also joining the group this year.

Kenya’s Lt. General L.K. Sumbeiywo represented IGAD in the recent and successful conclusion to peace negotiations in South Sudan. The EU’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari (Aceh) and Japan’s Yasushi Akashi will also be present.

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