Solutions to Violent Conflict

Archive for the ‘Peace Accords’ Category

Approaching the End of a Fifty-Year Conflict

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy is Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State University and Director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program. She has met frequently with negotiators and other Colombian actors during peace talks.

The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and thus the 50th year of continuous violent conflict in Colombia. Now in their 26th month of formal talks, the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC have reached a delicate but propitious stage to end the conflict and begin the long arduous task of peace implementation. The children born in 2015 could be the first Colombians in generations who will not know war.

The talks have achieved agreements on some issues and now are addressing the difficult questions of victims’ rights and the mechanisms to end the conflict. After conducting talks in the midst of war for two years, on December 20 the FARC announced an indefinite unilateral ceasefire. On January 14 President Santos instructed his military negotiators to analyze the possibilities for a bilateral ceasefire. Read the rest of this entry »

Colombian Peace Process: Bridging Research and Practice

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Photo: Rainbow over Bogotá by PradaDearest (Flickr, July 10, 2013)

John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is an internationally known peacebuilder and teacher who contributes to the Peace Accords Matrix at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

In October 2012, formal talks between the Colombian government and the largest armed insurgency in the country were launched in Oslo and soon after transferred to Havana. Supported by Cuban and Norwegian facilitators, these negotiations were the first serious attempt in more than a decade to end the half-century war. In the past two years the talks have made important progress and have seen innovations on several fronts. Read the rest of this entry »

Colombia, from a Mediator’s Perspective

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Francisco Diez

Francisco Diez has extensive experience mediating conflicts throughout Latin America and is actively working on the Colombia peace process.

Colombia is a country of contrasts. While military dictatorships and foreign indebtedness characterized most of the continent during the latter half of the 20th century, Colombia experienced democratic regimes and kept its finances under control. Yet it was also the only country in the region with a strong guerrilla movement that remained active for decades.

The political elites and social leaders of Colombia are among the most intelligent and educated men and women in the world. The country’s entrepreneurs and traders are among the most successful, and they have produced wealth and a reasonable level of development. Yet the economy has been plagued by drug production and trafficking.


In Colombia the institutional framework of democracy and the separation of powers are firmly established. Modernity and technology have reached most of its cities. Yet in much of the countryside, life and personal integrity are in constant danger, the institutions of the state are largely absent, and legality is selective at best. Read the rest of this entry »

Toward Quality Peace

In Governance, Peace, Peace Accords on November 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Peter Wallensteen

The notion of quality peace is gaining momentum. Its origin stems from a growing interest in strategic peacebuilding and the search for post-war conditions that will prevent the recurrence of war.

One result of this interest is the development of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix (, a database with comparative information on 34 comprehensive peace accords, which allows analysts and negotiators to examine issues that have been included in previous peace processes and consider their relevance to ending current conflicts.

Explorations of the concept of quality peace are intended to stimulate thinking beyond the customary juxtaposition of “negative” versus “positive” peace. In November 2010, the Kroc Institute convened a conference to explore the idea of “quality peace” and its relevant dimensions. The participants included scholars as well as practitioners and negotiators. Read the rest of this entry »

Policy Uses of Peace and Conflict Data

In Peace Accords on May 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Peter Wallensteen

In January 1990 I received a phone call from the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. The island was experiencing an intensive armed conflict, a war that was small by international standards, but which we included in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). The caller had seen an article on conflict resolution based on our database and assumed that we had information that might play a role in the settlement of the conflict.

When the call came, it was possible for me to relate immediately to the issues. The parties in Bougainville listened with interest to the autonomy settlement for the Åland islands situated between Sweden and Norway and the demilitarization that preceded it. Today, Bougainville has autonomous status within Papua New Guinea. Perhaps what the local parties learned from academia was helpful. Read the rest of this entry »

The Peace Accords Matrix

In Peace Accords on May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Celebrating the anniversary of peace in Mozambique. The General Peace Agreement for Mozambique (1992) is one of 29 comprehensive peace agreements featured on the Peace Accords Matrix. (Photo courtesy of Community of Sant’Egidio)

Madhav Joshi and John Darby

Peacebuilding scholars and practitioners often emphasize the importance of achieving sustainable peace accords, but few have attempted to examine comprehensively the provisions of peace accords and how they are implemented. The Kroc Institute established the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) to serve as a gateway for scholars and practitioners into the vast and often confusing materials on recent comprehensive peace accords. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping the Peace: Lessons from Data for Peacebuilding

In Peace Accords on May 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Kristen Wall and David Cortright 

Conflict data sets enable peace scholars to identify key practices that make a difference in peacebuilding.

Take, for example, the practice of peacekeeping. One of the strongest findings to emerge from empirical research is that impartial peacekeeping forces make a significant difference for sustaining peace in post-conflict societies. A peace settlement alone does not guarantee an end to armed conflict in societies that are still highly armed and fractured. Fighting often resumes unless a third party steps in to verify or enforce a ceasefire and post-conflict agreement.

Read the rest of this entry »