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  • For nearly as long as civilization has been fighting wars, it has been making peace.

  • One of the earliest recorded peace treaties was engraved into a stone wall more than three

  • thousand years ago, ending a war between the Egyptians and the ancient Hittite Empire.

  • Peace negotiations have always been ritualistic, although traditions have changed over time.

  • In the early middle ages, before literacy, many peace treaties were sealed with a kiss.

  • Today, such agreements usually require signed documentation, a handshake and a neutral third

  • party.

  • Often this third party is the United Nations, but in many instances it’s Norway.

  • In fact since the end of the cold war, the Scandinavian country has recognized its engagement

  • in ten peace processes.

  • However experts say this figure could be as high as 20, as such arrangements are often

  • bound to secrecy.

  • Most recently, Norway was instrumental in brokering peace between the government of

  • Colombia and the FARC rebel group, although the measure was ultimately rejected in a referendum.

  • So, why Norway?

  • Well, Norway has a long history as a so-calledpeace nation”.

  • The relatively young country emerged out of a non-violent secession with Sweden in 1905

  • and has since focused its foreign policy on global leadership, conflict resolution and

  • promoting international human rights, rather than wars or colonization.

  • The Norwegian government was able to boost these initiatives in the late 20th century,

  • as the discovery of oil in the 1970’s made it one of the wealthiest countries in Europe.

  • By the end of the 1990’s, Norway was funding more than 20 NGOs in nearly 100 countries,

  • and an estimated one percent of its population

  • was taking part in peacekeeping missions around the world.

  • Meanwhile, Norway cemented its role as a neutral intermediary in major international conflicts.

  • Throughout the 1990’s, the country brokered peace deals in Europe, Central America, Africa

  • and the Middle East, beginning with the Oslo Accords in 1993.

  • This was a series of meetings between Israel and Palestine,

  • which had been in violent conflict for decades.

  • Norway was uniquely qualified to broker peace as it had friendly diplomatic relations with

  • both Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

  • The Oslo Accords was the first time Israel and Palestine formally recognized each other,

  • and although the accords weren’t a peace treaty in a formal sense, they paved the way

  • for a final agreement to be signed in 1998.

  • However Norway’s role in these and other peace treaties is not without controversy.

  • For nearly 70 years Norway been a close ally to the US and other Western powers through

  • its membership to NATO, taking part in all of its major military operations.

  • This has led to many to question whether the country is truly an impartial mediator, as

  • it has made a commitment to defend NATO countries.

  • Although Norway’s impartiality has been called into question, the country still upholds

  • its reputation as the world’s peace broker.

  • In fact, when discussing matters of diplomacy, many people reference the so-calledNorwegian

  • model”, which combines facilitation of peace treaties with long term humanitarian aid.

  • Even the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway, after the winner is chosen by members of the

  • Norwegian parliament.

  • There’s no doubt Norway’s non-violent history, combined with its active role in

  • mediating conflicts, has cemented its identity as the world’s peace mediator.

  • Norway plays an active role in the United Nations and NATO, and the country has one

  • of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

  • So how powerful is Norway?

  • Find out in this video.

  • This is partially due to Norway being the largest per capita producer of oil outside

  • the Middle East, accounting for roughly a quarter of the country's $4 billion GDP.

  • Thanks for watching Seeker Daily!

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For nearly as long as civilization has been fighting wars, it has been making peace.

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The Nordic Country Secretly Negotiating World Peace

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    Kristi Yang posted on 2017/01/11
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