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Peace Talks in Focus. Report on Trends and Scenarios

Peace Talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios is a yearbook that analyses the peace processes and negotiations that took place in the world during 2017. The examination of the development and dynamics of negotiations worldwide allows to provide a comprehensive overview of peace processes, identify trends and comparatively analyse the various scenarios. Peace Talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios also analyses the evolution of peace processes from a gender perspective. One of the main objectives of this report is to provide information and analysis to those who participate in peaceful conflict resolution at different levels, including parties to disputes, mediators, civil society activists and others. The yearbook also aims to grant visibility to different formulas of dialogue and negotiation aimed at reversing dynamics of violence and channelling conflicts through political means in many contexts. Thus, it seeks to highlight, enhance and promote political, diplomatic and social efforts aimed at transforming conflicts and their root causes through peaceful methods.

Peace Talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios is a reference for clear, precise and contrasted information on peace processes. For all mediators working in some of these contexts, the report is extremely useful to clarify doubts on other cases and to find inspiration or discard other elements. By shedding light on new trends in this field, the report is also useful to consolidate the lessons learnt from previous negotiations, and this should allow designing processes that are better focused, and ultimately lead to more sustainable agreements.

Juan Garrigues,
Special Advisor, Dialogue Advisory Group

Whilst there seems to be a certain consensus among academics and decision-makers that each peace process merits attention to its own particular issues and dynamics, that does not seem to be the case regarding the usefulness of using learning from past experiences in new contexts and geographical areas. This yearbook of the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s School for a Culture of Peace provides magnificent material not only for those who seek to delve into these particularities, but also for those of us who think that the decisions that parties to negotiations make at the table and elsewhere will be more or less likely to succeed in ending violence according to how they combine instinct and interpretation of the moment with the systematic learning of what, with some degree of certainty, we already know works or tends to fail.

Juan Esteban Ugarriza,
Associate Professor of the University of Rosario (Bogotá, Colombia) and Delegate Advisor of the Colombian government for the talks with the ELN from 2013 to 2017

Peace Talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios serves as an important reminder of how the participation of a broader group of stakeholders in peace processes, particularly women, can assist in the collective establishment of a more durable peace. As a recognized good practice, the yearbook dedicates attention to gender, peace and security issues, while also mainstreaming these perspectives throughout its publication. While mediators and their teams need to work for inclusive peace processes taking gender perspectives into account, each intervention also needs to be tailored to its specific context. Despite similar challenges for women’s participation, especially in Track I processes, Peace Talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios also illustrates how conflict dynamics vary widely among the processes reviewed and how the role and level of women’s participation vary accordingly. The publication carefully demonstrates that the integration of a gender dimension in formal and informal peace processes provides unique insight to the root causes and consequences of conflict, and advances a more targeted response to the peacebuilding and security needs of women and girls.

Lone Jessen,
Senior Gender & Political Advisor UN Department of Political Affairs, Policy and Mediation Division

The histories of peace processes are built on comings and goings, possibilities and obstacles, political contexts, armies and armed groups and, unfortunately, on breaches. There are wars that become chronic, and long peace processes that seem impossible to deal with, where responsibilities lie not only with the local actors, but also the international ones. In these cases the social fabric becomes a military target. Many generations have lived like this for entire generations. Peace processes from above are based on the possibility to reach agreements and thus not only to find a solution to an armed conflict, but also to transform its conditions. Nevertheless, a transformative peace that will help to rebuild the social fabric must activate the processes from the grassroots level. The conflicts explained in the report Peace talks in Focus 2018. Report on Trends and Scenarios are inhabited by invisible stories, which sometimes the political or military actors hide away. The panorama shows us a different world map; a mirror where we can learn from others, and gain awareness of our shared responsibilities.

Carlos Martín Beristain,
Coordinator of the REMHI report (Guatemala) and member of the Colombian Truth Commission

Foreword by Dr. Norbert Ropers,
Director of Peace Resource Collaborative (Thailand) and Senior Advisor at the Berghof Foundation (Germany)


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