Place: Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica, Oslo
Date: 6-8 December 2001



In 2001 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the long and impressive list of Nobel Peace Prize laureates beginning with Frédéric Passy and Henry Dunant in 1901. The Norwegian Nobel Committee and the Norwegian Nobel Institute wanted to commemorate this by staging a symposium in Oslo, the City of Peace, where Nobel Peace Prize laureates and renowned international scholars met to discuss why the 20th century was so ridden by war and how the 21st century may become a more peaceful one. The questions were bold, indeed, but that did not prevent us from addressing them as long as we realized that no easy answers were at hand. Throughout history, peace has never been easily obtained. But that doesn’t mean it is unobtainable. As the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen liked to remind us, “the difficult is what takes a little while; the impossible is what takes a little longer”.


The symposium was divided into nine sessions, seven of which focused on important causal nexuses of war and peace that had been given particular notice by the Norwegian Nobel Committee over the last 100 years. Each session lasted for 75 minutes and consisted of an introduction by an academic expert followed first by a statement from a chosen Nobel laureate, then by brief comments from a small group of Prize winners and by general debate. The main idea was to let the scholars focus primarily on the problems of the past whereas the laureates were encouraged to apply their insights, convictions and creative thinking on the challenges and promises of the future. Together we hoped this division of labor would help to make us all a little wiser.



Gunnar Berge, Eric Hobsbawm, Mikhail Gorbachev, Kim Dae-jung, International Committee of the Red Cross, Mairead Maguire, Michael Doyle, Amnesty International, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Médecins Sans Frontières, Lech Walesa, Mahmood Mamdani, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Frederik Willem de Klerk, David Trimble, Amartya Sen, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Norman E. Borlaug, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Oscar Arias Sánchez, United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, Betty Williams, International Peace Bureau, Mary H. Kaldor, Joseph Rotblat, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, International, Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Louise Fawcett, Shimon Peres, ILO, John Hume, Akira Iriye, Dalai Lama, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, The Friends Service Council/The American Friends, Service Committee, Institute of International Law, Geir Lundestad, Elie Wiesel, José Ramos-Horta, Desmond Tutu and Gunnar Stålsett, Deputy Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.


Book title: War and Peace in the 20th Century and Beyond
Book published: 2002
Edited by: Geir Lundestad and Olav Njølstad
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing
Order book here: LINK
ISBN: 978-9812381972