Seminar on Colombian Peace Process at Two Years Draws A Crowd to Keough School Washington Office

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Madhav Joshi speaks during a panel discussion at the June 10-11 seminar on the Colombia peace process at two years. Photo: Greg Gibson

Haga clic aquí para leer en español.

A two-day seminar assessing the Colombian peace process after two years and the role of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) program in monitoring and supporting implementation drew over 120 attendees to the Keough School of Global Affairs Washington office from June 10-11. Attendees included government officials from both Colombia and the United States, policymakers, NGO leaders, religious leaders, and journalists.

Following the two-day event, representatives from PAM, Caritas Internationalis, the Pastoral Social in Colombia, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also met with congressional and state department staff members to brief them on the implementation process.

“This event put PAM and Kroc’s contribution to the Colombian peace process on the map in Washington DC in a significant way,” said David Cortright, director of the Peace Accords Matrix and policy studies at the Kroc Institute.

By mandate of the signatories of the 2016 Colombia Peace Agreement, the Kroc Institute has been asked to provide technical verification and monitoring of implementation of the accord through the Barometer Initiative, part of the PAM research project. The Kroc Institute partners with the National Secretariat for the Social Pastorate-Caritas Colombiana to administer a team of peacebuilding professionals who provide on-the-ground monitoring in Colombia.

Over the course of two days, expert panelists addressed transitional justice issues and victims’ rights, effective security guarantees and community protection, and land reform and integral rural development.

During the seminar, members of the PAM team presented their latest implementation data which illustrated that implementation has continued to progress in the two years since the signing of the Colombian Final

Kroc SummitPanelists David Cortright, Jennifer Schirmer, Carolina Naranjo and Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera. Photo: Laurel Stone

Accord. According to the April 2019 PAM report, more than two-thirds of the commitments in the accord have been initiated, and more than one-third have been completed or have achieved substantial progress. The team emphasized that while many challenges still exist in the Colombian peace process, the level of implementation at the two-year mark is comparable to other comprehensive peace agreements analyzed by the Kroc Institute in its PAM database.

Carolina Naranjo, representative for the Kroc Institute’s Barometer initiative in Colombia, emphasized that one major challenge for Colombia’s implementation process is advancing and protecting transitional justice mechanisms like the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission in order to move away from cycles of violence and toward reconciliation.

In addition, the latest PAM executive summary report emphasizes that although there is a clear commitment from the Colombian government, re-incorporation is not advancing with the expected speed. Despite delays, 11,000 ex-combatants are still engaging the implementation process. During the seminar, Kroc Institute representatives suggested that, to be successful, implementation must address physical, judicial, and socio-economic security concerns and focus on programs identified in the accord that are meant to improve the quality of life and to guarantee rights for communities in the affected territories. The latest executive summary notes that greater progress is needed to fulfill these commitments and to ensure an effective presence of the State in the territories.

In addition to Cortright and Naranjo, panelists at the event included (in alphabetical order): Emilio Archila, Colombian High Presidential Counsellor for Post-Conflict and Stabilization; Cynthia J. Arnson, Director of the Latin American Program, The Woodrow Wilson Center; Bernard W. Aronson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, ACON Investments; former special envoy to President of the United States for Colombian peace talks; Stephanie Burgos, Government Affairs Associate Director for Latin America, Land Rights and Trade, Oxfam; Francisco Diez, Peace Accords Matrix Latin America Representative for the Kroc Institute; Monsignor Héctor Fabio Henao, Director of the Pastoral Social, Episcopal Conference of Colombia; Adam Isacson, Director for Defense Oversight, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA); Madhav Joshi, Research Associate Professor and Associate Director of PAM; John Paul Lederach, Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Senior Fellow, Humanity United; María Victoria Llorente, Executive Director, Fundación Ideas para la Paz; Pete Marocco, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, United States Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations; James MeernikProfessor of Political Science, University of North Texas; Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera, Ombudsman of Colombia and President of Ganhri Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions; Jason Quinn, Research Associate Professor, Peace Accords Matrix; Raúl Rosende, Verification Director, United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia; and Jennifer Schirmer, Harvard University.

The seminar was an initiative of the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic

212 Keough Colombia Peace ProcessPanelist Cynthia J. Arnson speaks. Photo: Greg Gibson

Peacebuilding Network, The Office of International Justice and Peace, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The Woodrow Wilson Center Latin American Program.

Read the full PAM executive summary now.

About the Kroc Institute: The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, supports study, research and practice centered on strategies for sustainable peace and supports undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. students in peace studies.

The Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) is one of the Institute’s premier research initiatives. It is a unique source of qualitative and quantitative data on the implementation of 34 comprehensive peace agreements signed from 1989-2012. By mandate of the signatories of the 2016 Peace Agreement, the Kroc Institute has been asked to provide technical verification and monitoring of implementation of the accord through the Barometer Initiative, part of the PAM research project. The Kroc Institute partners with the National Secretariat for the Social Pastorate-Caritas Colombiana to administer a team of peacebuilding professionals who provide on-the-ground monitoring in Colombia.

Contact:

David Cortright, Director of the Peace Accords Matrix and Policy Studies, dcortrig@nd.edu

Colleen Sharkey, Notre Dame assistant director of media relations, 574-631-9958, csharke2@nd.edu