A Greater Good? The Role of Business in Fostering Peace

Seminar hosted by the Business for Peace Foundation and the Peace Research Institute Oslo

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:00-16:00
Place: Oslo City Hall (rådhus), Oslo

​​Private business corporations play a major role in conflictual environments around the world. Business actors have the potential to contribute to peace and prosperity, but their activities may also have significant negative impacts. Despite the importance of business to the fostering of peace, there is a dearth of qualified analysis of the roles that business can play, the responsibilities that it must live up to, and the contributions that it can make. Yet, we may be watching a shift, with global enterprises adopting a broader set of objectives, civil society organizations seeing business as constructive partners, and governments refining their regulatory frameworks. With this shift in the making, we bring together a variegated set of observers to take stock of the situation and suggest how we can most constructively bring this agenda forward.

The seminar is followed by the 2013 Oslo Business for Peace Award Summit, "Business in Fragile Environments" (with a separate registration procedure).

Registration is now closed. Contact Halvor Berggrav at halvor@prio.no or mobile 928 31 780.


12:00–13:15  Lunch reception
  • Welcome by Hallstein Bjercke, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and Business, Oslo City Government
  • Keynote Address by Gry Larsen, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
13:30–14:30 The Roles and Responsibilities of Business 
  • Introduction by President of the US Institute of Peace and fmr. Congressman, Jim Marshall, on the basis of the report of the ‘Business and Peace Initative’, a high-level task force including actors from business, politics and academia
  • Discussion with Greg Reichberg (Research Professor, PRIO and the University of Oslo), Heba El-Kholy (Director of the Oslo Governance Centre, UNDP) and Erik Edling (Project leader, International Council of Swedish Industry)
 14:45–15:50 Natural Resource Extraction: Blessing or Curse?
  • Drivers for peace and conflict: The role of the extractive industry in post-conflict situations
    (Siri Aas Rustad, Senior Researcher, PRIO)
  • Crises and Opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Extracting Hydrocarbons
    (Harry Tzimitras, Director, PRIO Cyprus Centre)
  • Comments by Leiv Lunde, Director, Fridtjof Nansen Institute
 15:50–16:00 Concluding remarks
  • Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, PRIO