Focus on Democracy Assistance
The Oslo Center’s main mission is to provide support for political institutions and parties in their efforts to establish a framework and governance that contribute to the democratic development of the country in line with internationally recognized principles. Key elements of this work are to establish political cooperation and respect for basic human rights. Dialogue is a fundamental principal in The Oslo Center’s work.
We work with major international democracy support organizations like the International IDEA, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Club de Madrid.
The Oslo Center’s work in democracy support has been strengthened in 2012, and will be further strengthen next year. We work very closely with the political parties and political institutions in Kenya which is facing a crucial election in March 2013. In Somalia, we work closely with the newly elected parliament and the political parties, and are about to launch our first field office in Mogadishu.
South Sudan is working on a new permanent constitution and The Oslo Center is involved in efforts through support for the establishment of a dialogue forum for the youth that will give them an important arena for active participation in the constitutional process.
There has been a positive development in Burma this year, and we see the outlines of an emerging democratization process in the country. The Oslo Center has for many years had a strong commitment to Burma and has offered the political actors and the government support in the important democratization work the country faces. We will place special focus on youth and minority issues.
Religion and Development
A comprehensive report on religion and development was this fall handed over to the Foreign Ministry with clear recommendations on the importance of increasing understanding by Norwegian authorities and Norwegian development organizations on the religious actors’ importance for the development of the countries in which Norway provides support.
The Oslo Center collaborates with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and three other organizations on a project about religion and religious freedom in Central Asia. The Oslo Center held, along with NHC conversations in 2011 with government officials in Kazakhstan on the human rights situation.
In collaboration with several other organizations the project is followed up with efforts to increase adherence to guidelines for sacred places, where The Oslo center has a particular focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In Kenya, a pilot project on children’s rights is starting up.
The Oslo Center thanks all our partners for the good cooperation in 2012 and look forward to continued cooperation in 2013.