Oslo, June 2008
A group of thirty-five religious and political leaders, scholars and representatives of different relevant organisations met in Oslo 22-23 June 2008 for a workshop on “Women, Equality and Peace” addressing questions related to ensuring equal and balanced participation by women and to promote the role of women in global peacemaking efforts. The workshop aimed at extracting initiatives, policies and practices on both the political and religious sides that can be instrumental in ensuring equal participation of women by means of more effective involvement in the public arena.
This initiative is a joint undertaking by three organisations: The Foundation for Dialogue among Civilizations (FDC), Club de Madrid (CdM) and The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OC). The workshop is co-chaired by former President of Iran, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami (FDC), and the former Prime Minister of Norway and CdM Member, Kjell Magne Bondevik (OC). This workshop was the third of three, and will provide thought and input for the forthcoming Tehran Conference on “The Role of Religion in Modern Time” to be held in the fall of 2008, and for the Policy and Practices Portfolio for Social Cohesion, being developed by the CdM and its partners.
The participants welcomed the adoption by the UN Security Council on 19 June of the Resolution 1820, noting that rape and other forms of sexual violence constitute a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The participants discussed and endorsed the ideas and intentions contained in this statement.
Among other propositions, the participants discussed the following:
• The struggle against discriminatory regulations and the promotion of participation of women in the public sphere have been a long historical process in the Islamic and the Western World. Strong resistance from several traditionalist positions were and are faced, but also increasing demands and expectations exist accompanying expanding knowledge and awareness.
• Key tools in the struggle to improve the conditions for women in different societies include: education, new legislation (like changes in the family laws), and implementation of quotas in order to improve representation.
• It is an unethical and unacceptable interpretation of religion when women are deprived of their rights in the name of religion.
• The examples of women as agents of change in decision making positions have been extremely instrumental in transforming old prejudices.
• Intra-religious dialogue and self criticism can provide dynamism to religious perspectives in relation to issues like gender.
• The role of women in development has been paramount throughout history but needs to be documented and emulated. There are several role models in the Abrahamic texts that could serve as inspiration at the social, political and religious level.
• Participation of women within religious communities is critical. Women should be given equal opportunities to participate on equal terms.
• The Millennium Development Goals could constitute common objectives for concrete action between different religious communities, the goal of gender equality (MDG3) needs more vigorous action plans.
• Women’s perspective should be promoted in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogues.
• The provisions for security, justice and equality for women are found in the holy texts. There is a need to form policies and patterns for re-establishing these principles.
• Increasing women representation in Parliaments and other political bodies is an important step but the real results must come through effective gender policies, economic empowerment, and the change of patriarchal institutions and norms.
• Peace processes need to be inclusive, involving all stakeholders: civil society and political leaders, especially women leaders. Appropriate capacity building and training programs are essential tools to promote this approach.
• UNSC 1325 is an important step forward. It should be implemented through the creation of proper follow-up mechanisms, a monitoring implementation process and a coordination strategy with the different UN agencies and other international stakeholders. National action plans should follow.
• The importance of the reconciliation of family and public life and strengthening balanced family roles in a modern world is emphasized for woman and man alike.
To these ends, the participants committed to work effectively to:
• Confirm that religions uphold the removal of gender based discrimination and exclusion
• Promote initiatives to enhance the representation of women at all levels, including interreligious and intercultural dialogues
• Actively ensure the participation of women in religious life at different levels by equal standards.
• Promote fundamental rights like: equality before the law, equal opportunities and the freedom to choose.
• Call on religious and political leaders to promote gender equity and overcome those traditional practices that inhibit its realization.
• Ensure equal representation by women. The use of quotation can be an effective instrument to secure a certain percentage of representation.
• Encourage participation of women in all aspects of modern life, including through educational and training programs in financial management.
• Call on religious leaders to lead a strong and vocal opposition in their preaching against sexual violence, in conflicts as well as domestic violence.
Workshop: “Sharing experiences: Women , Equality and Peace”
Oslo, 22.-24. June 2008
Sunday 22nd of June
Arrival of participants.
1900 Opening dinner at Losby Gods
Presentation of the participants seated around small tables
Short welcoming words from President Mohammad Khatami and Kjell Magne Bondevik. Introductions to the topic and the methodology of the workshop by Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar and Ms. Kristin Aase.
Invitation to informally start to share experiences around the tables.
Monday 23rd of June
0800 Breakfast at Losby Gods
0900 – 0930 Opening session: President Mohammad Khatami
(FDC) and Kjell Magne Bondevik (OC)
0930 – 1030 Roundtable 1: Exchange of experiences: gender, equality, empowerment of women and family policy.
How do we understand gender equality or gender justice in our different traditions? What are the greatest challenges facing women in Western societies and in Muslim Societies today? What are the most important tools in the struggle to improve the conditions for women in different societies? The concept of “family values” very often contests the concept of gender equality. What are the most important family values and how do we manage to develop the family in a modern, globalised world? What feminine attributes are essential in promoting understanding, tolerance and trust among diverse cultures and faiths?
Moderator: Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Director Centre for Peace and the Environment
Panellists: Ms. Tarja Halonen, Board Member OC and President of the Republic of Finland
Dr. Elaheh Koolaee, Prof. Teheran University, Iran
Dr. Hoda Badran, Leader of The Arab Women’s League, Egypt
Commentator: Dr. Kari Vogt, Associate Prof. University of Oslo, Norway
1030 – 1100 Coffee break
1100 – 1230 Roundtable discussion continues
1230 – 1400 Lunch
1400 – 1530 Roundtable 2: How to ensure women’s participation and integration of gender perspective into inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.
How to ensure women’s participation and integration of gender perspective into inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. Role of women in conflict resolution, efforts to reduce tensions, enemy images and create trust? How can we ensure participation of women in inter-religious dialogue? What are the greatest challenges in inter-religious dialogue with regard to the issue of Gender justice? How to ensure that gender issues are given priority in inter religious dialogue? Women are present at the local level both practical peace work and dialogues How can this experience and women’s participation be transform to high level dialogues and actions? Recommendations for further action.
Moderator: Mr. Stein Villumstad, Deputy Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Panellists: The Rights Reverend John Bryson Chane, US
Hojjatoleslam Dr Ahmad Akoochekian, Research Vice Chancellor of Isfahan University of Art, Iran
Ms Zahra Shojaie, Former Presidental Advisor on Women, Iran
Commentator: Ms. Lena Larsen, The Norwegian Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway
1530 – 1600 Coffee break
1600 – 1730 Roundtable 3: The impact of armed conflict on women and women’s role in peace building – the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and its call for full protection of women in war and conflicts and their participation in peace processes.
What are the main obstacles for securing full participation of women at all stages and levels of peace and state-building, and how do we secure it for the future? How can dialogue and cooperation, between different religious communities, both at the national and local level, promote gender justice and equity in conflict resolution? How can religious actors play a role in developing societies and attitudes that prevent gender-based violence? How can women be involved on equal footing with men in managing financial resources including multi-donor trust funds and reconstruction funds?
Moderator: Ms. Guro Katharina Vikør, Ambassador for Gender and Women’s Rights at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign
Panellists: H.E. Al Imam Al Sadig Al Mahdi, former Prime Minister of Sudan
Ms. Sarifa Moola, Shared Societies Project Advisory Panel Member, South Africa
Dr. Nasrin Jazani, Prof. Shahid Beshti Unviversity, Iran
Dr. Sedigheh Babran, Associated Professor, Azad University
1730 – 1830 Presentation and adoption of a statement and recommendations.
Closing remarks from President Khatami and Mr. Bondevik.
Concept Paper: Workshop:
Sharing Experiences: women, equality and peace
Objective: To promote women’s rights and participation
Time: 22-24 June 2008
Participants: High level intellectuals, policy makers and NGO representatives, especially from Norway and Iran, but also representatives from other parts of the world (max 20 persons)
Theme: Western and Islamic perspectives on the role of the woman and women’s rights
This workshop is part of the overall project “Dialogue for Constructing Mutual Respect and Understanding; the Islamic world and the West” with the overall objective to promote intercultural dialogue and respect for diversity and human rights. It is a collaborative effort between the Foundation Dialogue Among Civilizations (FDC), The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OC) and Club de Madrid (CdM). For this specific workshop, we will also count on the collaboration with Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar and the Center for Peace and Environment (CPE) in Tehran that she leads.
The workshop is a direct follow up of the Conference “Religion, Democracy and Extremism” that took place 16 May in Oslo. The goal of the conference may be highlighted as: “To ensure equal and balanced participation by women in society and to promote the role of women in global peacemaking efforts”. The idea behind the workshop is to engage in dialogue with a smaller high level group and treat the main themes of the overall project more in depth. Through exchange of experiences we will try to find ideas, initiatives, mechanisms, policies, legislation and practices on both the political and religious sides that can be instrumental to ensure equal participation of women by the means of more effective involvement in the public arena.
Participants, methodology and topics
The participants: In order to have a comprehensive dialogue, this workshop will provide an exchange of experiences, ideas and cooperation. The participation will be as broad as possible, reflecting the different viewpoints, cultural backgrounds and strategies currently applied to promote women’s rights and participation.
Methodology: We will try to maintain a good balance between feminine and masculine perspectives on the topic. To achieve a broad sharing of experiences and an in depth dialogue we will not invite the participants to prepare long speeches, but have a short introduction to the subject and base the dialogue more on questions and short answers from the participants, and the possibility to respond to each other directly on a limited subject. The moderator will have an important role to play, to guide the dialogue, with open and concrete questions and inviting the participants to actively take part in a real and effective dialogue, and challenge us all to show a genuine interest in understanding more of each other and about the topic. The challenge is also to try to find recommendations that we can bring from this workshop, to the main conference in Teheran in October.
Topics: The main focus for the workshop will mainly be on:
• Western and Islamic perspectives on the role of the woman;
• Women's rights in the family and exchange of experiences on rights and legal issues;
• Central policy areas including family laws, access to justice, education and jobs.
• The contemporary international challenge of integration of a gender perspective into commitment to peace and reconciliation work;
• The role of the feminine perspective in international peacemaking;
• Possible action for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000);
• The relation between freedom and women’s rights;
• How to ensure women’s participation and integration of gender perspective into inter-religious dialogue efforts.
Participants for Workshop: Sharing experiences: Women , Equality and Peace
Oslo, 22–24 June 2008
President Mohammad Khatami
President of Iran (1997-2005)
Mohammed Khatami is the President of the Foundation for Dialogue among Civilisations and the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a reformist president, his campaign focuses were on law, democracy and participation of all. During his presidency he guided Iranian Foreign policy towards conciliation and dialogue. Prior to his election as President, Mr. Khatami had been a Member of Parliament (1980-1982), Head of the Kayhan Cultural Institute, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance (1982-1986, and 1989-1992), Head of the National Library of Iran (1992-1997), a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, and Chair of the Islamic Center in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Khatami holds a Bachelor in Western Philosophy, and has studied Islamic sciences to the highest degree at Qom. He is the author of many publications in religion, dialogue and democracy.
Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik
Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000, 2001-2005)
Kjell Magne Bondevik is founder and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. Mr. Bondevik was elected Prime Minister in 1997, and appointed Prime Minister again in 2001, serving until 2005. Mr. Bondevik was a Member of Parliament from 1973-2005, and served as Minister of Church and Education in Kåre Willoch’s government (1983-1986), and Minister of Foreign Affairs during the government of Jan P. Syse (1989-1990). Mr. Bondevik studied at the Norwegian Lutheran School of Theology, and is an ordained pastor in the (Lutheran) Norwegian State Church.
Ms. Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar
Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of the Environment 1997-2005
Educated in the US and Iran, Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar holds a Ph. D. in immunology, and serves as Associate Professor at the Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran. Her main research areas have been women's studies, legal aspects of women's rights, international aspects of women in development, women's rights in Islam, sustainable development and environmental issues. Under the government of Khatami, Dr. Ebtekar was the first woman to be elected Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2007, she received the award UNEP Champion of the Earth and in 2007 she was elected by the people of Tehran as a member of the City Council. Dr. Ebtekar is a member of the Board of Trustees for International Institute for Dialogue among Civilizations, and serves as President of the Center for Peace and Environment at Tehran.
Ms. Kristin Aase
Special Advisor, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Prior to joining the Oslo Center, Kristin Aase has served as Executive Director of Fretex East Norway; Director of the Cultural Department, Sponsor Service; Head of Information and Project Developer, [Kirkens Bymisjon] Church of Norway City Mission; Project Director at the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs, and Consultant at the Human Rights House.
Mr. Dr. Reza Alborzi
Director General, Foundation for Dialogue among Civilizations
Dr. Mohammad Reza Alborzi is the Director General of the Foundation for Dialogue among Civilizations. A former Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, he served as a diplomat for 25 years and has vast experience in conflict resolution, humanitarian negotiations and settlement of disputes. He holds an International Law degree from the University of Neuchâtel and is the author of several publications in Law and diplomacy.
Ms. Dr. Sedigheh Babran
Associated Professor, Azad University and
Executive director, Center for Peace and Environment
Dr Sedigheh Babran received her PhD in 2001 with a thesis on A Survey on the Status of Iranian Newspapers Management and Ownership, and an MA in Journalism in 1996 both from Islamic Azad University. She also has a degree in environmental law from the UN. She is an associate professor at Islamic Azad University since 1997 and director of the Sustainable Development & Environment Studies Group at the Center for Strategic Research affiliated to Iran Expediency Council since 2006. She previously worked within the Department of Environment as the director general of Public Relations & International Affairs. She also edits a quarterly research magazine on sustainable development. She is also active in civil society as the Executive Director of the Peace and Environment NGO.
Mr. Hojjatoleslam Dr. Ahmad Akoochekian
Research Vice Chancellor of Isfahan Universersity of Art
Mr. Akoochekian has a PhD in Development Sociology from Saint Joseph College, Lebanon. Among other positions, he has been Chief to Koranic Documents and Info, a member of Koranic Interpretation Council and Director at Religious Thoughts Foundation and Progress Studies since 1990. He was a Research Advisor in the Ministries and Defence, Housing and Urban Development in Women’s president’s Office and Ministry Of Education. Currently, he is the chief of developmental research of Isfahan University and the dean of the faculty of civilizations’ and religions’ Art of Isfahan Art University. He has published a number of books and articles.
Ms. Dr. Elaheh Koolaee
Professor, Teheran University
Ms. Elaheh Koolaee has her PhD in International Relations, and became a faculty member of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Tehran. She has written many books and articles about Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Iran’s foreign policy and women issues. She was elected for Iran’s parliament (Majlis) in 2000-2004, and was a member and Speaker of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. She was an active member of the Women Faction of the Reformist Parliament (6th Parliament). She is full-professor of Regional Studies in University of Tehran, and a member of the Central Council of IIPF, the largest reformist party of Iran.
Ms. Zahra Shojaie
Former Presidential Advisor on Women
Ms. Zahra Shojaie has an M.A. in Political Science from Islamic Azad University, and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management. She was an Advisor to President Khatami, to the Interior Minister and Director General of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, and to the Education Minister. She has been head of the Center for Women’s Participation, and of the Women’s Cultural-Social Council, High Council of Cultural Revolution, Tehran, Iran, 1990-1992. She’s also been a member of various councils and organizations, many of them concerning women.
Mr. Sayed Sadegh Kharrazi
Former Iranian Ambassador to France
Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi was the Iranian Ambassador to France from 2002 until 2005. He has previously served as Ambassador to the United Nations under President Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1995, and was Special Envoy of the President responsible for organising the OIC summit from 1998-1999 and Deputy Foreign Minister from 1998-2002. He currently serves on the Board of the Foundation for the Dialogue among Civilizations.
Ms. Kari Vogt
Associate Professor, University of Oslo
Ms. Kari Vogt is an associate professor at the Institute of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages. She has written widely on Christian and Islamic issues. She is also editor and co-editor of several books, the most recent one being New Directions in Islamic Thought and Practice. Exploring Reform and Tradition, I.B. Tauris, London 2008.
Ms. Lena Larsen
The Norwegian Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo
Former head of The Council of Islam, Norway
Ms. Lena Larsen is currently Research Fellow at the University of Oslo with the research project 'Fiqh facing Everyday Challenges: Fatwas as suggestion for solution on Muslim Women's issues in Western Europe'. Ms. Larsen was the President of the Islamic Council of Norway (2000-2003), and served as a consultant for the quality of presentation of Islam in textbooks (1996-1998). She is associate Editor of "Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook", and is currently on leave from the position of Project Director of the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. She is also co-editor of New Directions in Islamic Thought and Practice. Exploring Reform and Tradition, I.B. Tauris, London 2008.
Ms. Guro Vikør
Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Ms. Guro Vikør was recently appointed as Ambassador to Slovenia from September 8. She has been working at UN, in the Peace and Humanitarian Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has been working as the Norwegian Consul General in Miami, Florida, USA and as Deputy Director General at “Utenrikstjenestens Kompetansesenter”, responsible for all diplomatic training for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has a Master of Art from the University of New Mexico, USA, and a Cand.mag. from the University of Oslo (in political science, anthropology and sociology).
Mr. Stein Villumstad
Deputy Secretary General of Religions for Peace
Mr. Villumstad holds a Master of International Administration from the School for International Training in Vermont. He has extensive experience in international development, conflict transformation, and human rights. He served as regional representative for Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in Eastern Africa, and previously held the position of its assistant general secretary managing the Department for Policy and Human Rights. He has been a close partner with the religious leaders in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia-Eritrea in their conflict transformation efforts. He has been co-chair of the Action by Churches Together (ACT International) Executive Committee, and a member of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Commission on International Affairs. He has written a book on social reconstruction of Africa, and a number of articles in periodicals and newspapers.
H.E. Al Imam Al Sadig Al Mahdi
Former Prime Minister Sudan
Mr. Al-Mahdi began his career in politics at the Ministry of Finance where he worked from 1957-1958. He was soon elected President of Umma and won the general elections for the Prime Minister of Sudan in 1986, a position he retained until the government was overthrown in 1989. Currently, Al-Mahdi continues his mobilization efforts to restore peace and democracy in Sudan, and to solve the dialectic between modern life and religious revival in the Muslim World. Mr. Al-Mahdi has an MSc in Economics, Politics and Philosophy from the School of Economics at Oxford University.
Ms. Sarifa Moola
Shared Societies Project Advisory Panel Member, South Africa
Sarifa Moola trained a group of young ambassadors to engage with visitors to the ZeroCarbonCity exhibition -an innovative multi-pronged, global project that aims at reframing the international climate change debate by exploring the energy challenges facing the world's greatest cities. Ms. Moola has also coordinated a programme of creative expression around these issues involving poetry and drama. In 2007, Moola played the role of “facilitator” in the International Writers Festival, organized by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal). She is an activist of women and peacebuilding, discussions around development and now language maintenance and shift.
Ms. Hoda Badran
Leader of The Arab Women’s League, Egypt
Ms. Badran holds a Ph.D. in social welfare, with specialization on community organization and citizen’s participation. She is a chairperson of the Alliance for Arab Women, and a board member of Dialogue: Islam – U.S.A. and the West. She established the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood and was the first Secretary General for it. She also organized several panels and conferences to demand women’s human rights. She advocated children rights on the national and international levels, and attended All international conferences on women’s rights. Ms. Badran has received the Emirates Women Union award for leadership in women activities, UNESCO Award for distinguished women, and Distinguished UN representative award from The government of Sri Lanka.
The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane
Eight Bishop of Washington, US
The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane serves 93 congregations and 45,000 members in the District of Columbia and in the Counties of Prince George's, Montgomery, Charles and Saint Mary's in Maryland. He is an active member of many boards and advisory committees. He also serves as Co-Chair of the "Bishops Working For A Just Society" Coalition and on the Episcopal Church's Committee On National Affairs. Formerly the Dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral, San Diego, California (1996-2002), he has also served as Rector of Saint Mark's Church, Southborough, Massachusetts; Canon Pastor of Saint Paul's Cathedral, Erie, Pennsylvania; and Curate/ Priest in Charge of Saint Paul's Church, Montvale, New Jersey. He holds degrees from Boston University and Yale Divinity School as well as an honorary doctorate from Episcopal Divinity School.
Mr. Rev. Canon John L. Peterson
Director of The Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation, US
Mr. Peterson has degrees from Concordia College, Harvard University, the Chicago Institute for Advanced Theological Studies, Virginia Theological Seminary, the University of the South and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He has also studied at the American University and the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. Previously, he served as the Secretary General of the Worldwide Anglican Communion headquartered in London, and as the Dean of St. George’s College, Jerusalem. He is also the Anglican Canon at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and is an Honorary Canon in the Cathedral Church of Christ, Canterbury; St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kaduna, Nigeria; All Saints, Mpwapwa, Tanzania; as well as St. Dunstan’s Cathedral, Benoni, South Africa and of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
H.E. Tarja Halonen
Board Member of The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and President of the Republic of Finland
H.E. Tarja Halonen was elected Finland’s first female head of state in 2000, and re-elected 2006. With a Master of Laws degree she made a professional career as trade union lawyer. She joined the Social Democratic Party in 1971 and was elected to the Parliament in 1979. She held her parliamentary seat in five consecutive elections and served in three cabinets as Minister of Social Affairs and Health, of Justice, and for Foreign Affairs. Throughout her career, H.E. Tarja Halonen has been interested in issues of human rights, democracy, civil society, and social justice. During her presidency she has co-chaired the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, established by ILO, and served in the Panel of Eminent Persons of UNCTAD as well as in the board of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights. She is an Honorary Co-Chair of the International Women’s Commission (IWC) for a just and sustainable Israeli-Palestinian peace, convened by UNIFEM.
Ms. Lone Dybkjær
Parliament Member, Denmark
Lone Dybkjær has been member of the Parliament for The Social Liberal Party – 1973-77, 1979-84 and again from 2005. 1994 - 2004 she was a Member of the European Parliament. She has among others worked with environment, energy, labour-market and European issues. Her interest in gender issues and Human Rights has for a long time been one of her main focus areas in politics; not least in relation to the Lisbon treaty.
Ms. Ruth Turner
Chief executive of The Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Ms. Turner joined the Prime Minister’s Office in May 2005 as Director of Government Relations, and worked for Tony Blair until he resigned as PM on 27 June 2007. She spent 14 years prior to that as an award-winning social entrepreneur. Ruth was a Board member of Sustainability North West, an external advisor to United Utilities Chief Executive John Roberts and the company’s main board directors, and a founding Trustee of the United Utilities Trust. She has been awarded the first ever Sir Christopher Harding Big Difference award for lifetime achievement.
Mr. Alessandro Cancian
Public Relations and Project Development Executive, Foundation for Dialogue Among Civilization
Mr. Cancian holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Siena. His M.A. is in History of Iran, and B.A. in Oriental Languages and Cultures; both from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He has published various papers, articles and specialized books’ chapters on religion, politics and its interrelation in different countries.
Mr. Rubén Campos
Assistant to the Director of Programs, Club of Madrid
Rubén Campos currently works primarily the Club of Madrid’s programme on Ethnicity, Democratic Development and Intercultural Dialogue, and has previously managed projects on political consensus building in Bolivia and Ecuador. Before joining the Club of Madrid in 2004, Mr. Campos was academic coordinator of International Relations postgraduate courses at Madrid’s Complutense University. He is an expert on Asia and conflict resolution, and a professor of International Relations in the postgraduate programs of five Spanish universities. He is currently preparing his doctoral thesis on the non-violent politics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and has recently published a collection of Gandhi’s political writings in Spanish.
Mr. Øistein Mjærum
Chief of Staff, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Prior to joining the Oslo Center, Øistein Mjærum has served as political Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office; Information Advisor to the Christian Democratic Parliament Group; and Secretary for Information of Christian Democratic Party National Headquarters.
Ms. Hilde Salvesen
Special Advisor, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Prior to joining the Oslo Center, Hilde Salvesen has served as Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Guatemala; in addition to further positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NORAD, the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norwegian Church Aid, and the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations.
Ms. Ingrid Vik
The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (from Sept. 2008)
Ms. Ingrid Vik is currently working in Nansen Dialogue Network, which is engaged in dialogue- and reconciliation programs primarily in the Western Balkans. She will start working at the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights from September 2008. She has been focusing on issues connected to intercultural, inter-religious and interethnic relations for several years in different capacities. She has an academic background as a Historian of Religion from the University of Oslo.
Ms. Sidra Shahid Shami
Student/Intern, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Sidra Shami is a Master’s student in Peace and Conflict Studies (PECOS) at the University of Oslo.
Ms. Marie Kyed Engeseth
Student/Intern, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights
Marie Engeseth is a Master’s student in Religion and Society at the University of Oslo.