Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement

29-09-2016

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the peace process is far from completed: Sunday 2 October 2016 will be a decisive date in the process, when the agreement is submitted to a popular referendum. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, could prove decisive for the outcome. If the agreement is approved by the Colombian people, the third and most difficult phase – the implementation of the agreement – will begin, and this poses numerous uncertainties about the future. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and will continue to do so during the peace-building phase. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved.

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the peace process is far from completed: Sunday 2 October 2016 will be a decisive date in the process, when the agreement is submitted to a popular referendum. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, could prove decisive for the outcome. If the agreement is approved by the Colombian people, the third and most difficult phase – the implementation of the agreement – will begin, and this poses numerous uncertainties about the future. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and will continue to do so during the peace-building phase. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved.