Publication / Law and Peace

The Colombian Peace: Talks Practical Lessons for Negotiators Worldwide

Peace negotiations are often held back by a combination of flaws in design and an inability of the parties to overcome substantive disagreements. However, studying previous negotiations can help mitigate both types of challenges, leading to more dynamic and sustainable settlements.

To that end, this publication describes a selection of the most important strategic choices and lessons learnt from the Colombian peace negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) held in Havana, Cuba, from September 2012 until August 2016. It encompasses an overview of the Colombian armed conflict, a summary of the structure and design of the talks, and a succinct analysis of what was agreed upon under each item of the negotiation, including several of the main sticking points and how these were overcome.

The contents of this publication are based primarily on presentations and interviews given by members of the IFIT Brain Trust for the Colombian Transition during the 2017 course on “Peacemaking in Colombia: Strategic Choices, Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead.” Comprised of fifteen multidisciplinary Colombians who served as expert advisers in Havana, the Brain Trust helps avoid the dispersion of institutional memory and knowledge that typically occurs when a negotiation ends and a peacebuilding phase begins.

Share this publication