Statement from Josefina Echavarría Álvarez, Director of the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM), about agreements reached between the Government of Colombia and the country’s National Liberation Army (ELN)

Author: Josefina Echavarría Álvarez

On Friday, June 9, 2023, the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) reached agreements toward peace negotiations. Both the agreement on the Process of Participation of Civil Society in the Construction of Peace (first Cuban agreement) and the Agreement for Bilateral, National and Temporary Ceasefire (second Cuban agreement) represent fundamental milestones to advance the peace talks agenda and strengthen trust between the parties – essential conditions for progress in the peace process.

As monitors of the 2016 Final Accord, signed between the Colombian national government and the former guerrillas FARC-EP, the Peace Accords Matrix Barometer Initiative in Colombia recognizes the general commitment of the parties to promote structural transformation, so that use of weapons and violence in the country is definitively abandoned by all actors. Likewise, we have identified solid opportunities to promote implementation of the Final Accord and development of the peace talks agenda in a way that is concomitant, complementary and balanced. Comparative evidence derived from the study of 34 comprehensive peace agreements demonstrates that success of peace negotiations carried out after signing a comprehensive peace agreement depends greatly on achieving high levels of implementation of the commitments established in said agreement. Therefore, we encourage all parties to recognize and strengthen the articulation between both peace processes.

The Peace Accords Matrix Barometer Initiative in Colombia is part of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, based at the University of Notre Dame. Given our mission, we seek to contribute to this ongoing dialogue by sharing comparative experiences in signing and implementing comprehensive peace agreements. Since 1986, the Kroc Institute has rigorously documented this work, and we make ourselves available to Colombia’s national government and the National Liberation Army to share our knowledge and perspective.

We express our hope that Colombia consolidates a stable and lasting peace and continues to serve as an inspiration for peacebuilding in all regions of the world where armed conflicts persist.

For more information about the Peace Accords Matrix Barometer Initiative, please visit our website.