Over 140 of the world’s eminent senior mediators and peace process actors attended the 2013 Oslo Forum, sharing practical experiences and engaging in lively debates on current peacemaking practice and mediation trends.

In line with this year’s overarching theme, ‘Through a Different Lens: innovative approaches to mediating conflict’, participants explored areas that had previously garnered little attention among a mediation community that usually focuses on traditional forms of armed conflict and peacemaking methods.

Sessions on negotiating with criminal gangs and the unique role of faith-based actors in peacemaking allowed mediators to think ‘outside the box’ and draw unique lessons for their work from atypical contexts. Also in line with the same theme, participants explored creative approaches to conflicts in Syria, the Sahel, Somalia, and other complex environments. As such, the Oslo Forum once more served as a ‘laboratory’ for new and innovative approaches to peacemaking.

This meeting report provides a summary of the discussions and highlights the issues which emerged during the retreat.