The National Dialogue Conference in Helsinki brings together practitioners from conflict-ridden countries to discuss peacebuilding efforts

Published on Monday, 16th of November 2015

The second Conference on Non-Formal Dialogue Processes and National Dialogues is held this week on 16–18 November 2015 in Helsinki.

The Conference brings together the world’s leading peace and reconciliation experts. It provides a platform for joint reflection and in-depth discussion between practitioners, stakeholders and experts involved in or working with dialogue processes in different contexts.

The Conference is a continuation to the first conference held in April 2014, which enjoyed the participation of over 200 international experts and practitioners. The event was opened on Monday morning by Peter Stenlund,Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Keynote speakers include Nobel Laureate Jerry White, Shaykh Abdallah bin Mahfudh ibn Bayyah, who is one of the leading scholars of Islamic law in the world, and Thania Paffenholz, Director of the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative (IPTI). MP Pekka Haavisto, the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation, chaired the opening session.

This year, the Conference will focus on Myanmar, Yemen, Somalia and Tunisia. Examples of experiences of challenging change processes and mediation and peacebuilding efforts in these countries will be examined and analyzed.

The overall objective of the Conference is to provide a forum for national stakeholders, facilitators and international experts for sharing and reflecting on their experiences of non-formal dialogue processes and National Dialogues in the current changing landscape, particularly in the context of fragile states and other areas affected by fragile conditions.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland organises the Conference in cooperation with CMI, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Finn Church Aid, and Common Space Initiative.