Gunnar Stålsett, the retired bishop of Oslo, spent much of his career championing peace and reconciliation, also as a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. At an age of 83 he’s still promoting peace while traveling the globe, and feels he recently made some progress in Myanmar along with a large delegation from the New York-based organization Religions for Peace International. A report by

“There has been, in a way, a breakthrough,” said the mild-mannered Stålsett during a wide-ranging interview at his home in Oslo last week. He was referring to an agreement recently struck between the government in Myanmar and the United Nations. Stålsett said it will allow UN officials to “participate fully” in the process of overseeing the return of any Muslim refugees willing to move back to Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which was the site of violent government crackdowns on their villages last year. Hundreds of thousands of destitute Rohingya refugees have since been living in squalid camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.

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Gunnar Stålsett is the former moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders ECRL.