On November 6, 2013, the Centre for Foreign Policy and Peace Research (FPPR), together with the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF) and the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), convened a seminar, bringing together members of the Norwegian and Turkish research communities to discuss the two countries’ approaches to mediation.
The seminar took place in the Sheraton Hotel, Ankara, where Norwegian and Turkish academicians, members of civil society institutions, as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives from both countries exchanged their views on the subject of “International Mediation Trends: Processes and Experiences”.
Opening remarks by Prof. Dr. Ali Doğramacı, President of the Board of Trustees of Bilkent University, Mariano Aguirre, Director of NOREF, and Prof. Dr. Mesut Özcan, Chairman of SAM, emphasized that cooperation between Norway and Turkey can play a role on the global scene for mediation.
In the opening session of the seminar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, H.E. Børge Brende, delivered speeches in which they shared the two countries’ mediation practices around the world over the years and reaffirmed each nation’s willingness to engage in future cooperation.
Panelists started the seminar with a discussion on how international mediation trends have evolved over time and how the multilateral system copes with the changing and challenging characteristics of violent conflicts around the world. To this respect, different experiences of mediation cases from the field, ranging from those in Guatemala and Haiti to those in the Balkans, and the particular role in these of the third party were also presented. Panelists concluded the day with a detailed discussion on the impact that cultural and geopolitical characteristics play in mediation efforts. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Center for Strategic Research sponsored a dinner event for the participants at the end of the day.