“The best weapon is to sit down and talk”
– Nelson Mandela
The International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding focuses on peacebuilding and conflict prevention, supporting and advancing work on: early warning; disarmament; climate, water and food security; empowerment of women and girls; indigenous rights; and the promotion of youth led civic engagement.
The Center convenes leaders from government, international organizations, business, and civil society to dialogue and take action around drivers of and solutions to conflict—providing a space for building sustainable local, national and international peace and security. With an office in the U.S. and Norway, the Center is working on building easily accessible physical site that would provide an optimal environment conducive to national and international dialogue, mediation, and advanced learning.
The Center emerged as the legacy project of the United States’ and Minnesota’s bid to host the 2023 World’s Expo. The Center’s leadership has continued to advance a vision of a site and center of peace and mediation located in the Twin Cities.
High Seas Treaty Dialogues
The ocean is the ultimate destination for outcomes from human activity on land. The high seas, part of the global commons covering almost half of our planet, provide critical ecosystem services, from fisheries to climate regulation. However only 1.2% of the high seas have been protected, putting biodiversity and the security of our planet at risk.
An international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction to address high seas biodiversity is urgently required. The need for renewed and sustained international cooperation to reach such an agreement is critical. This is the first global treaty process related to the ocean in over twenty years and the only one targeted specifically at the protection of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
The High Seas Treaty Dialogues are bringing together government representatives and other stakeholders to make concrete progress toward the adoption of a High Seas Treaty during the intersessional negotiation period between the 3rd (IGC3 – August 2019) and possible final 4th negotiation session (IGC4 – to be determined) of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.
These Track 1.5 dialogues may continue as platform for implementation after the treaty’s adoption. A ‘Track 1.5’ dialogue is designed in this context as an informal convening space primarily for Member State BBNJ delegates, along with select experts from UN agencies, international, regional and sectoral organizations and bodies and civil society.
At the completion of IGC3 in August 2019, Ambassador Rena Lee, President of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference, encouraged delegates to “study the proposals made during this session and use the proposals as a catalyst to spark creative solutions that can garner consensus in the room.” It was her hope that “intersessionally, delegations will not only work within their own delegations but also reach out to the other delegations, to find ways forward that everyone can converge around.”
The need for renewed and sustained international cooperation to achieve an agreement is critical, particularly during this extended intersessional period due to the Covid 19 crisis when in person meetings – including the fourth Intergovernmental Conference (IGC4) – are not yet possible.
The International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding is the organizational partner for this series of informal intersessional BBNJ dialogues, hosted by the Kingdom of Belgium, the Principality of Monaco, and the Republic of Costa Rica, with the participation of over 90 countries. These informal monthly international dialogues will continue through 2021 until it is possible to meet formally in person again.
Secure Food Future Dialogues for Farmers
ICDP is launching a series of Secure Food Future Dialogues, to give farmers that voice and to foster better faster design and implementation of a food system that works for everyone.
It is estimated that as many as 125 million Americans (38%) experienced food insecurity in 2020. Feeding America estimates the shortfall of meals at US food banks reached 8 billion by June 2021. This is not just the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and related closures and disruptions. There are basic structural problems with our food system.
Overcoming the challenges farmers face in transitioning to healthy sustainable practices will allow them to not only build resilience on the land, but also to expand the value of their own operations, and secure a better livelihood.
In collaboration with climate leaders, the International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding will continue to support the advancement of The Earth Day Climate Communiqué—the outcome of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo.
Alongside the United Nations 24th annual climate conference, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum gathered some of the world’s foremost climate leaders in Oslo who discussed climate change as a matter of international peace and security and how climate-smart finance, cities and subnational actors could drive significant change forward in meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement (2015), to limit global warming to 1.5ºC.
Climate change is a threat multiplier, as well as an accelerant for armed conflict, putting the stability of nation states at risk and undermining regional and international peace and security in fundamental ways—threatening the viability of natural systems and human settlements, economies and political systems.
Without serious and rapid global mobilization and collaboration among a multiplicity of actors to address, mitigate and reverse human-induced climate disruption, many of the drivers of conflict are likely to worsen in significant ways.
While this may involve a reinvention of multilateralism, pioneering leadership across the globe is urgently needed. We must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050—an unprecedented innovation challenge requiring political will driven by radical integrity, creative, inclusive collaboration, and no excuses.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu-Tum, Grand Chief Edward John, Hereditary Chief of the Tl’azt’en Nation and member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, President of the Sami Parliament Aili Keskitalo, and Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Keeper of the Sacred Bundle and Spiritual Leader of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota people have put forward the “Nayzul Declaration”.
In collaboration with the First Nations Summit, the International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding will support the advancement of The Nayzul Declaration — the outcome of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo.
The Nayzul Declaration calls for a constructive and focused multi-stakeholder dialogue process that includes indigenous peoples, state representatives, industry groups and other relevant bodies to co-create inclusive strategies to address the steady rise in extractive industries, including the ever-growing demand for minerals that make a rapid clean energy transition possible.
(Featured in the photo from left to right: Fred de Sam Lazaro, Special Correspondent PBS NewsHour; HolyElk Lafferty, Dakota leader at Standing Rock; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu-Tum; Grand Chief Edward John, Hereditary Chief of the Tl’azt’en Nation and member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; President of the Sami Parliament Aili Keskitalo; photographed at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo.)