The Nobel Peace Conference 2023


The Nobel Peace Conference 2023 will gather Nobel Peace Prize laureates, activists, decision makers and experts to celebrate the achievements made by human rights defenders, identify the risks they are facing and call for action to support their work in the decisive years ahead.


Oleksandra Matviichuk portrait


Head of CCL, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2022

Oleksandra Vyacheslavivna Matviichuk is a Kyiv-based human rights lawyer and civil society leader. She heads the non-profit organization The Center for Civil Liberties, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, for its fight for human rights, democracy, and peaceful co-existence. The center shared the prize with Ales Bialiatski and Memorial. Oleksandra Matviichuk was nominated to the United Nations Committee against Torture and has been navmed one of the top 25 most influential women in the world by Financial Times.

Yan Rachhinsky portrait


Chair of Memorial, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2022

Jan Rachinsky is a Russian human rights activist, historian and mathematician. He is chair of Memorial International, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, for its fight for human rights, democracy, and peaceful co-existence. The organisation shared the prize with Ales Bialiatski and the Center for Civil Liberties.

Memorial was founded in 1987 and is one of Russia’s oldest and most prominent human rights organizations. In December 2021, Memorial was forced to shut down all its businesses and close it's documentation center, but the networks are still active.

Natallia Pinchuk portrait


Wife of Ales Bialiatski, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2022

Natallia Pinchuk is a Belarusian professor of history. She is married to Ales Bialiatski, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, together with Center for Civil Liberties and Memorial. Natallia Pinchuk came to Oslo to receive the Nobel Prize on behalf of her husband, who is in prison in Belarus. Ales Bialiatski is a prominent human rights activist in Belarus and the founder of the organization Viasna. In March, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for financing “actions grossly violating public order”.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum portrait


Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1992

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is a human rights activist and a Mayan k’iche’ activist who grew up in Guatamala during the Civil War. She lost both of her parents and one of her brothers in the violent struggles between the government and the indigenous Mayan people. Rigoberta herself was forced to flee the country, seeking refuge in Mexico.

In 1992, Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for social justice and reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.

Rigoberta ran for President of Guatemala in 2007 and 2011 under the banner of WINAQ, the first indigenous-led political party founded by herself. In 2013 the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) appointed her as a Special Investigator within its Multicultural Nation Program. She continues to seek justice for all Mayan people impacted by the genocide.

Shirin Ebadi portrait


Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2003

Shirin Ebadi was Iran’s first woman judge. Dismissed from her post in 1979 after Khomeini’s revolution, she later opened a private law practice and served as defence council for dissidents. In 2000, she herself was arrested because of her criticism of the regime. In 2003, Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts for democracy and human rights, especially for the rights of women and children.

In 2008 the authorities closed down Ebadi’s centre for human rights, and the following year, she left for exile in Great Britain. She has continued her campaign for fundamental human rights, and women’s and children’srights in particular.

During the last months, Dr. Ebadi has been a leading voice in the diaspora in support of the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement in Iran. In November last year she addressed the UN Security Council urging the international community to “stand on the right side of history” by putting pressure on Iran.

Mary Lawlor portrait
Photo: Kamil Krawczak


Mary Lawlor is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders since 1 May 2020. She has worked extensively with and on the situation of human rights defenders for decades. In 2001 she founded Front Line Defenders – the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Previously, she was the Director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International from 1988 to 2000. Ms. Lawlor has a BA in Philosophy and postgratudate degrees in Montessori Teaching and Personnel Management. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Business and Human rights in the Center for Social Innovation, School of Business, Trinity College Dublin.


Ella Marie Hætta Isaken portrait


Samí activist

Ella Marie Hætta Isaken (b. 1998) is a Samí artist, activist, writer and actor. She is the front figure of the band ISAK, and in 2021 she published the book "That´s why you need to know that I am Sami" in which she refects on her own Samií identity. She plays the leading role in the film EllosEatnu / La Elva Leve (2023). As a climate acitivst, she combines her commitment to indigenous rights with climate action. Large parts of Ella Marie’s artistic work deal with this theme.


Bruno Stagno ugarte portrait


Bruno Stagno Ugarte is the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy in Human Rights Watch. Before joining Human Rights Watch, he was Executive Director of Security Council Report from 2011-2014, Foreign Minister of Costa Rica from 2006-2010, Ambassador to the United Nations from 2002-2006 and Chief of Staff of the Foreign Ministry from 1998-2000, among other foreign service postings. He also served as the President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court from 2005-2008 and Co-President of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Article 14 Conferences from 2007-2009. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, the Sorbonne and Princeton University and author or editor of several books, chapters and articles, including The UN Security Council in the Age of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Beatrice Fihn portrait


Former executive director of ICAN, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2017

Beatrice Fihn is an activist and expert on international law and civil society mobilisation. She is the former Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign coalition that works to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Ms. Fihn accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and delivered the Nobel Lecture in Oslo on behalf of the campaign.

Ms. Fihn lead the campaign for almost a decade and has extensive experience of civil society mobilisation, international law, and diplomacy and multilateralism. She has spoken at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the Munich Security Conference as well as lectured at numerous universities, including Harvard, Penn, Oxford and Cambridge. Her work has been covered and reported on by CNN, BBC Hard talk, Financial Times, Time magazine and many more.

Born in Sweden, Ms. Fihn has a Masters in Law from the University of London and a Bachelors degree in International Relations from Stockholm University.

Marianne Borgen portrait


The Mayor of Oslo is Head of the City Council and the highest-ranking representative of the city. Mrs. Marianne Borgen was elected Mayor by the City Council on October 21 2015.

Mayor Marianne Borgen was born in Oslo in 1951 and grew up in Groruddalen. She is married and has three children and seven grandchildren.

Ms. Borgen holds a degree in sociology from the University of Oslo with specialization in social policies and medical sociology. She has worked with children's rights on both a national and international level for more than 25 years.

Mrs. Borgen was elected as a member of Oslo City Council for the first time in 1979 for the Norwegian Socialist Left Party (SV) and has been a member of the City Council continuously since 1995. She was Committee Chair for the Standing Committee on Transport and Environmental Affairs 2011-2015. Prior to that, she was member of the Standing Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Health and Social Welfare.


Gina Gylver is the leader of Nature and Youth, the largest environmental organization for young people in Norway. Aged 22, she has been actively engaged in the climate struggle for almost 10 years.

This year, she has been one of the young activists at the forefront of the Fosen demonstrations. Both Sami and environmental activist have been protestingwind turbines built on Sami grazing land at Fosen I Mid-Norway, ruled by the Supreme Court to violate human rights. 

Gina Gylver is one of the six young climate activists who have have taken Norway to the European court of human rights (ECHR), arguing the country’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic is in breach of fundamental human rights

Berit Reiss Andersen portrait


Chair of the Nobel Committee

Portrait of Aili Keskitalo
Photo: Sametinget


Aili Keskitalo is a political advisor on Indigenous Rights, Climate and Environment with Amnesty International Norway. Aili Keskitalo is a former Sami politician and leader, with experience from the international Indigenous cooperation. She was the first woman to be elected president of the Sami parliament in Norway in 2005, and served as president in different periods for altogether nine years. Keskitalo lives with her familiy in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino on the Norwegian side of Sápmi. She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Copenhagen Business School (CBS).


After the conference, we welcome you to join our free and open-for-all festival outside the Nobel Peace Center


The Nobel Peace Conference will take place 31 August 2023 13:00-17:00 in Oslo and online.

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