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General Announcements - May 11, 2009

President's Message

Welcome to the website of the International Peace Institute. This site presents a broad cross-section of IPI’s activities in pursuit of our mission to resolve global conflicts and crises through policy research and development. On these pages you will find our latest publications and learn about specific programs and activities, as well as recent meetings and events.

Looking back on a long and varied career in academia, policy research institutions, conflict mediation, Norwegian politics and government, and the United Nations, I have learned the importance of building bridges between these different sectors and the powerful potential for exchange of knowledge and mutual learning between them.

IPI is uniquely placed to facilitate this necessary exchange among academia, governments, NGOs, and international organizations, and thus to help build a more secure and peaceful world. I am extremely fortunate to have inherited a thriving institution in early 2005 from previous IPI Presidents – Major General Rikhye, the Honorable Olara Otunnu and, in particular, my immediate predecessor, Ambassador David Malone – who made IPI a fixture in United Nations circles and beyond.

As a policy research institute, our core goal is to inform decision-makers in government and the UN of trends and dynamics in peace and security and provide them with realistic policy recommendations. We do so by generating policy-relevant research and by channeling expert advice from all over the world into the UN system. Spending much of the past decade as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Middle East, I know firsthand the immense value of input from institutes such as the International Peace Institute. Our publications are also of much broader relevance, often appearing in university teaching curricula, academic research papers, and media commentary. In this way, IPI’s research contributes to a broader debate on the role of the United Nations in today’s world.

But the value of research does not solely lie in generating knowledge and policy advice. I have seen on many occasions how, in highly politicized environments, independent and non-partisan analysis can provide a basis for finding common ground among opposing parties. Indeed, the entry point for the process that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords between the PLO and the Government of Israel was a study on the living conditions in the Occupied Territory, undertaken by the Norwegian think tank Fafo, which I headed at the time. Similarly, IPI has a significant track record in bringing parties to the negotiating table by providing independent analysis and neutral ground. This is a tradition which I intend to pursue and strengthen.

Thank you for visiting IPI’s website. Please feel free to refer back to the website often, as we will make frequent updates. I hope that our site will become one of your trusted sources for research and analysis on multilateral peace and security issues and UN affairs.

Terje Rød-Larsen

 
 

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