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PRIO contributed to the Imagine Forum: Nordic Solidarity for Peace hosted by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland, in collaboration with The Icelandic Presidency for the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Engaging Nordic peace researchers and decision-makers in dialogue in the panel "Nordic Solidarity for Peace: The Way Forward", Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norwegian Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Minister of International Development, underscored the Nordic nations' robust history in peace and conflict resolution in her opening remarks, emphasizing: “Dialogue is the key word; we need more dialogue in challenging times”.

PRIO Research Director Louise Olsson connected the importance of policy-research dialogue to three factors for success of Nordic peace research.

Firstly, she underscored the crucial role played by collecting high-quality, long-term data, supplying a solid foundation for decision-making, and for navigating challenges like disinformation.

Secondly, the strategic importance of Nordic peace research for utilizing this data in sophisticated analyses allows us to steer clear of simplistic answers. In emphasizing the importance of sound method, Olsson stated, "If you only find in your analysis the reasons or outcomes that you want to find, then your mind is probably playing tricks on you, for the social phenomena we're talking about here are so complex."

Thirdly, and importantly, Olsson underscored that Nordic peace research originated in wishes to get at the root causes of war, genocide, and human rights abuse; a standpoint equally important today. This was underscored by SIPRIS Jannie Lilja, who advocated for researchers to provide information to decision-makers, helping them navigate complex problems.

Looking forward, Olsson underlined that one joint Nordic research and policy interest was to ensure progress in women's rights and their involvement in peace and security. She called for continued collective investment in gender-disaggregated data to enhance effectiveness in countering challenges to women's rights. Minister Tvinnereim also highlighted the PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Center and Nordic initiatives, such as the Women Mediators Network, as examples of successful collaboration and advocated for leveraging Nordic values to address contemporary global issues. She concluded by stating, "Let us put the Nordic cooperation and integration, our Nordic values that we cherish so much, to even better use internationally because the need is definitely greater than ever."

The Imagine Peace Forum was a part of Iceland's Presidency in the Nordic Council 2023. The annual program for their presidency is titled 'A Force for Peace,' reflecting Iceland's commitment to strengthening Nordic cooperation and elevating the region as a “torch-bearer for peace”, something which included highlighting “the co-operation between the region’s peace centres and research institutions”.

In addition to the panel on Nordic Solidarity for Peace, Louise Olsson participated in the panel “Feminist Approaches to Nordic Peace”, moderated by Élise Feron, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Tampere Peace Research Institute. Watch the full panel here.