Press release 67/2014
21 March 2014
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs together with its partners is organizing the Conference on National Dialogue and Mediation Processes which will take place from 30 March to 2 April 2014. The conference theme is peace processes in fragile states, national dialogues and mediation.
The purpose of the conference is to share experiences of how national dialogue processes can be utilized in the creation of an engaging and open negotiating process for resolving the internal conflicts of states and building a new democratic system. The conference will also discuss mediation and the role of mediators in these processes.
Cases to be examined are South Africa, where national dialogue took place 20 years ago; Yemen, where the dialogue ended just a little while ago; Myanmar, where the process is currently starting; and Syria, where possibilities for initiating peace process are sought at different levels.
The conference will provide the opportunity to share and compare practical experiences and to reflect on how those elsewhere can learn from these experiences. Comparing the experiences of different countries is useful both in Finland’s mediation activities and in supporting national dialogues.
The conference will bring nearly 150 experts to Finland: parties to conflicts, political actors, experienced negotiators and mediators, advisors and researchers. The conference will be opened by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. Among others, President Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel laureate Tawakkol Karman and former Deputy Prime Minister of Syria Abdallah Al Dardari will speak at the conference. The conference is arranged under the leadership of Kimmo Kiljunen, Special Representative for mediation of Foreign Minister Tuomioja, at the House of the Estates in Helsinki.
The Foreign Ministry’s partners in organizing the conference are the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (SLS), the Common Space Initiative (CSI) and the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention Recovery (BCPR), Euro-Burma Office (EBO), the Berghof Foundation, the Nobel Peace Appeal Foundation, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) and Finn Church Aid (FCA). The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission serves as the conference secretariat.
The conference is this year’s biggest mediation event to be organized in Finland, and it has attracted much international interest. From the viewpoint of Finland, the conference will strengthen Finland’s mediation networks and Finnish actors’ capability in issues pertaining to mediation. A publication in the series of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be produced from the background materials for the conference and the conference report.
Additional information: Special Representative Kimmo Kiljunen, tel. 0295 351 774, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org