Formal talks are underway between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban to end over four decades of violent conflict and instability. At this vital phase of the Afghan peace process, it’s important to draw lessons from recent negotiated settlements. The comprehensive settlement between the Colombian government and the FARC has become one of the most widely recognized examples of how a comprehensive peace process can address the root causes of violence and result in a political settlement. While the Colombian and Afghan conflicts are distinct in many ways, Colombia is an important reference point that could provide some valuable insights and an imperfect roadmap for Afghanistan.
There isn’t a single standard model for negotiations—but analyzing historical processes, understanding their application, and identifying opportunities to adapt to specific contexts can serve countries who seek to resolve and transform seemingly intractable conflicts.
On October 15 USIP and the Embassy of Afghanistan held a discussion on important lessons from the Havana Process with the FARC, highlighting both the successes and shortcomings of the negotiation and its implementation. This was the first discussion in an ongoing series launched by the Embassy of Afghanistan that examines peace processes around the world. Panelists explored the importance of political consensus building, how to address continued violence, the role of neighboring countries and third-party facilitators, among other pressing issues.
Scott Worden, welcoming remarks
Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S Institute of Peace
Her Excellency Roya Rahmani
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States
Bernard W. Aronson
Founder and Managing Partner, ACON Investments. Former U.S. Special Envoy to the Colombian Peace Process
Humberto de la Calle
Former Colombian Government Chief Negotiator, Former Vice President of Colombia
Senior Advisor, European Institute of Peace. Former Colombian High Commissioner for Peace
Senator, Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) party
Director, Section for Peace and Reconciliation, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Former Norwegian Special Envoy to the Colombia
Alejo Vargas Velásquez
Director of the Center on the Peace Process, Vice Dean on Research, Faculty of Law, Political and Social Sciences, National University
Belquis Ahmadi, moderator
Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
Paula Garcia-Tufro, moderator
Project Director, U.S. Institute of Peace