Wed, 30 September 2009
Kjell Magne Bondevik is the former Prime Minister of Norway, a position he held twice from 1997-2000 and from 2001-2005. Following his life in politics, Mr. Bondevik became president of The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. In early 2006, then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him as the new Special Humanitarian Envoy for the Horn of Africa, an area that includes the troubled regions of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. As an ordained minister and president of The Oslo Center, Mr. Bondevik is deeply involved in promoting international human rights and interfaith dialogue. He argues that instead of aggravating conflicts, religions—by focusing on common values—can join forces and make constructive contributions to conflict resolution. Mr. Bondevik joins the Council to discuss his organization’s work in bringing together influential politicians, religious leaders and academics into a much needed dialogue on religion, tolerance, diversity, women’s rights and democracy. He will discuss his recent partnership with the former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, and how the two have been working together to increase understanding, reduce tensions, counter stereotypes, and promote peaceful dialogue between the Islamic world and the West.