The seminar formed part of the state visit by Their Majesties, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. The proceedings were opened by His Majesty. Norway’s foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, addressed the audience of diplomats, academics and media about some of the issues challenging peace and security in Africa. In his speech he mentioned the importance of the efforts of the international community to address the main threats to stability in Africa, namely the dysfunction of weak states with weak institutions and which lack public legitimacy and territorial control. He also spoke of the common responsibility of Norway and South Africa to contribute to the restoration of peace and stability on the continent.