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Augsburg media expert says sustainable ceasefire agreement in Syria must include end to conflict-related sexual violence used as weapon

Nobel Peace Prize Forum executive director an expert on mediation and conflict-related sexual violence

GinaTorryGina Torry, executive director of the Augsburg-hosted Nobel Peace Prize Forum, is the author of the United Nation’s “Guidance for Mediators: Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements,” which has been used to end conflict-related sexual violence against women and children.

She is available to address with media:

  • Why an end to sexual violence as a weapon is critical to ceasefire in Syria
  • Methods and tactics of conflict
  • Conflict-related sexual violence waged against civilians
  • How to identify when sexual violence is conflict related
  • Examples where ceasefire has included agreement to end use of sexual violence in conflict zones

“If left unaddressed, sexual violence can be used as a means to continue acts of war outside the purview of agreements and monitoring teams, which can trigger cycles of vengeance and vigilantism, and risk undermining confidence in agreements and possibly the mediation process itself,” Torry said.

Torry has worked closely with the UN, its member states, regional organizations, women’s civil society groups, and networks worldwide. She most recently served as executive director of the Peace Research Endowment, the North American presence of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Prior to that, Torry worked for several years with the UN Department of Political Affairs Policy and Mediation Division.

To arrange an interview, contact Stephanie Weiss, news and media services director, at 612.330.1476 or by email at


Nobel Peace Prize Forum from March 1-3 features Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, international and national leaders

NPPF1The 24th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum—a conference that celebrates Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, international and national leaders—is March 1-3 in Minneapolis.

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum, which explores issues related to peacemaking and causes of conflict and war, includes tracks related to business, arts and music, education, and global studies. A special 50th anniversary presentation of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem will be performed as part of the event.

The forum is organized by Augsburg College, in partnership with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and with ongoing sponsorship from the original college partners. The Nobel Peace Prize Forum is the only affiliation of the Nobel Institute outside Norway. It was founded during 1989 through a unique partnership between the Norwegian Nobel Institute and five private colleges—Augsburg, Augustana, Concordia (Moorhead), Luther, and St. Olaf. Continue reading “Nobel Peace Prize Forum from March 1-3 features Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, international and national leaders”

Learning about war and peace in El Salvador

elsalvadorDuring the January “winterim” break, several Augsburg students traveled with Religion professor Bev Stratton to Central America for REL 480: Vocation and the Christian Faith: El Salvador. First-year Katelyn Danelski reflects below on the group’s experiences.

We met with several speakers and visited different places, such as churches, a university, and a rural community, in hopes of learning more about their culture, history, and people. We primarily learned about their civil war (1979-1992) and about the roles faith and identity play in the midst of social injustice, oppression, and conflict. Continue reading “Learning about war and peace in El Salvador”