The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is pleased to announce that the inaugural Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize has been awarded to Dan Leaf’s essay An urgently practical approach to the Korean Peninsula.

The winning essay, released today on HD’s website, argues in favour of a ‘federated’ approach to one of today’s most difficult and dangerous challenges to international security: the crisis between South and North Korea.

In his piece, Dan Leaf suggests that the range of contentious issues linked to this crisis should be dealt with separately, removing the interdependencies – particularly with regard to denuclearisation – which currently preclude even small successes in the region.

Dan Leaf is an independent consultant on security matters relating to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. He has lived and travelled extensively throughout the region for over 16 years, working with leaders of almost every nation. His areas of focus have included conflict resolution, effective governance, strategic leadership, and Women, Peace and Security. He served as Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies for five years, having previously worked as a defence industry executive. This followed a 33-year military career which culminated in serving as Deputy Commander of the United States Pacific Command.

HD launched the Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize in January 2017.

This essay competition seeks to encourage bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges. The winning essay was published as part of the briefing material for participants at the 2017 Oslo Forum.

Co-hosted by HD and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Forum is the leading international network of conflict mediation practitioners. It regularly convenes conflict mediators, peacemakers, high-level decision-makers and key peace process actors in a series of informal and discreet retreats.

The Forum aims to improve the practice of conflict mediation by facilitating open exchanges and reflections across institutional and conceptual divides, providing informal networking opportunities, and allowing space for conflict parties to advance their negotiations.

Past participants have included John F. Kerry, Federica Mogherini, Kofi Annan, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Juan Manuel Santos, Gerry Adams and Fatou Bensouda.