Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

The Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, launched for the first time by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) this year, remains open for entries until midnight (Central European Time) on 12 March 2017.

The Prize is an essay competition seeking bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges. Submissions should take the form of an analytical essay relevant to the practice of conflict mediation.

The opportunity:

  • Stake your credentials as an innovative thinker in the field by presenting your strategies, approaches or solutions to challenges in the practice of conflict mediation.
  • A unique chance for your cutting-edge thinking to be discussed by leading conflict mediators at the 2017 Oslo Forum (www.osloforum.org).
  • Influence a wider audience via online publication after the event.
  • 1,000 Swiss Francs in prize money for the winning essay.

The background:

Today’s conflict landscape is increasingly characterised by sectarian tensions, geopolitical upheaval and regional rivalries, giving rise to unconventional scenarios for peacemakers such as state collapse and the seizure and administration of territory by extremist groups. Since 2010, the numbers of armed conflicts, battle deaths, terror attacks and displaced people have been rising, and peacemakers must refine their tools to respond to changing demands.

This essay competition is aimed at those with a keen interest in finding innovative solutions to these peacemaking challenges. The winning entry will be published as part of the briefing material for participants at the Oslo Forum (www.osloforum.org) and will be profiled at the event itself. The Oslo Forum is the world’s leading network of conflict mediators. Past participants have included John F. Kerry, Federica Mogherini, Kofi Annan, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Juan Manuel Santos, Gerry Adams and Fatou Bensouda.

The criteria for entry:

  • Submissions should take the form of an essay or piece of analytical writing that is tailored to an audience of high-level mediation practitioners.
  • Successful essays will be practically-oriented with a clear idea of how practitioners can address specific mediation challenges (such as mediation in fragile states, mediation with fragmented parties, or managing the cross-border movement of combatants).
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must be original and cannot have been published elsewhere.
  • Joint submissions are acceptable. The winning entry can be published pseudonymously upon request.
  • Maximum of 3000 words.
  • In addition to the above word count, submissions must be accompanied by:

(1) A short paragraph (of no more than 200 words) summarising the submission and explaining how it is an innovative contribution to the field;

(2) A biography (of no more than 100 words) of the entrant(s).

  • All sources must be cited and referenced in the respective part of the essay.
  • All entrants must be aged 18 or over.

Entries should be sent to osloforum@hdcentre.org by midnight (Central European Time) on 12 March 2017.

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