22. March: Belarus Action – a one day conference

«Belarus Action»

A one day conference at the House of Literature, Oslo
Thursday 22. March 2012, 08.30 – 16.00

Our main goals:
– To create more attention about Belarus in the Norwegian public
– To challence Norwegian politicians to work out a new Belarus-policy
– To contribute to the work for a democratic Belarus


08.30-09.00 Coffee, registration

09.00-09.05 Welcome from the organizers
Speaker: William Nygaard, Norwegian PEN boardmember

Part 1: «The current situation»
Moderator: Per Anders Todal, writer

09.05-09.25 Keynote speech:
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General, Council of Europe

09.25-10.05 Facts on the ground – three voices from Belarus
Adam Globus, writer
Yury Zisser, owner of the Belarusian online resource www.tut.by
Tatiana Reviaka, Human Rights Centre Viasna
Natalie Radzina, journalist, Charter 97

10.05-10.15 International challenges – Europe
Andres Herkel, special rapporteur on Belarus, Council of Europe

10.15-10.25 International challenges – the Nordic countries
Dagfinn Høybråthen, MP – Christian Democratic Party,

10.25-10.45 Questions from the floor

11.00-11.40 Lunch
A «standup-lunch» with sandwiches, coffee/tea and soft drinks will be served at the venue.

Part 2: «The solutions and the way ahead»
Moderator: TBA

11.45-12.00 From the Norwegian government
Torgeir Larsen, deputy minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

12.00-12.10 From the Norwegian Parliament and political opposition
Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, MP the Conservative Party, chair of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee

12.10-12.20 From Belarusian authorities – how we will solve our human rights challenges
Andrei M. Grinkevich, Ambassador to Sweden, Denmark and Norway**

12.20- 12.30 From the young politicians of Belarus
Andrej Kim, blogger and youth activist

12.30-12.45 Q&A

12.45-12.55 From the Human Rights perspective
Anna Gerasimova, director, the Belarusian Human Rights House in exile, Vilnius

12.55-13.05 From the OSSE-perspective, Representative from Ireland
Speaker: TBA

13.05-13.15 From the EU-perspective
Speaker: TBA

13.15-13-30 From the Russian perspective
Pavel Sheremet, journalist

13.30-14.00 Break. Fresh fruit and drinks will be served.

14.00-14.15 The financial perspective – an introduction to the panel discussion
Ales Mihalevich, independent presidential candidate from 2010**

14.15-15.00 The way ahead – a panel discussion
A. Herkel, Natalie Radzina or Tatiana Reviaka, OSSE or the EU, others

15.00-15.45 Questions from the floor

15.45-15.55 Summing up the way ahead – practical and political challenges
Speaker: TBA

15.55-16.00 Closing remarks by the organizers
Speaker: Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

The conference is organized, funded and hosted by the Human Rights House Foundation (HRH), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), Norwegian PEN, the Norwegian Union of Journalists, the Norwegian Publishers Association and the Norwegian Non-fiction Writers And Translators Association (NFF) in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord). Organizing committee: HRHF, NHC and Norwegian PEN. Translators: Maria Fremming and Maria Kim Espeland. etc.

**) To be confirmed

For foreign participants and participants not living in Oslo – practical information:

There is no conference fee, but all participants need to register at pen@norskpen.no no later than 20th March.

Hotels in Oslo

The organizers do not have the capacity to book hotel rooms for participants, but Norwegian PEN can book you into a B&B across the street from the House of Literature. “Cochs” has a rate of around NOK 700 per night, breakfast not included, and is clean and safe. We cannot guarantee vacancy.

We can also recommend the Rica Holberg Hotel (Holbergs plass 1, 0166 Oslo, phone + 47 2315 7200), which is situated a 5 – 10 minute walk from the venue. They normally charge NOK 1.150 or less, depending on the weekday, breaksfast included. https://www.rica-hotels.com/hotels/norway/eastern-norway/oslo/rica-holberg-hotel/

Some other hotels close to the venue:
Clarion Collection Hotel Savoy
Visiting speakers and panelists will stay at this hotel.

Thon Hotel Europa

Thon Hotel Slottsparken

Thon Hotel Gyldenløve

When arriving at the Oslo airport do NOT take a taxi downtown as it is extremely expensive. The airport express train takes you downtown in around 20 minutes for NOK 170. The airport bus normally cost less, NOK 150 one way and NOK 250 for a round trip. It takes you to the Radisson SAS Hotel across the street from the Rica Holberg. A taxi from the train station to the hotel would normally be around NOK 150.