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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
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-called “peace 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-called “Norwegian
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.
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The Nordic Country Secretly Negotiating World Peace

704 Folder Collection
Kristi Yang published on January 11, 2017    Sharon translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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