We were delighted to participate on 10th May in a seminar marking the retirement of Ambassador Steffen Kongstad from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through his work at the MFA, Steffen is someone who fundamentally shaped our working environment and Article 36 as an organisation. The seminar in Oslo brought together people who had worked previously on developing the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Safe Schools Declaration and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as well as in promoting work on Women, Peace and Security.

Steffen’s leadership and centrality to all of those initiatives marked an inspirational career in the MFA. And the seminar rightly celebrated not just these achievements, but also the culture and community that Steffen constructed as a means for collective work. It was fantastic to be reunited in person with so many people from across that community, with many more sending video messages. There is a strong hope that retirement from one role need not mean retirement from work altogether.

Laura Boillot spoke for Article 36 in the reception, and Richard Moyes spoke during the seminar – comments attached.