Oslo Forum 2017: Peacemaking in a New Era of Geopolitics
The fifteenth Oslo Forum convened one hundred of the world’s leading peacemakers, conflict actors, decision-makers and academics, bringing together people with forty-two different nationalities. The Forum’s overarching theme was Peacemaking in a new era of geopolitics. Those attending explored how growing regional and international competition among powerful states is influencing conflict resolution efforts around the world. They discussed the prospects for mediation processes in environments which are increasingly shaped by geopolitical rivalries, how mediators can avoid becoming pawns in a bigger chess game, and what can be done to encourage an alignment of great power interests for the sake of peace. The impact of great power politics also featured prominently in a session on the United Nation’s role as a peacemaker. Participants discussed how the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives can face increasing regional tensions, deepening geopolitical fissures, and growing scepticism towards a multilateral system. Participants agreed that the UN will need to undertake reforms if it is to deal effectively with the changing nature of today’s conflicts.