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.

Continue the conversation on social media with #LessonsinPeace.


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

Sergio Jaramillo 
Senior Advisor, European Institute of Peace. Former Colombian High Commissioner for Peace 

Sandra Ramírez
Senator, Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) party  

Dag Nylander
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

Related Publications

Keith Mines on the Future of U.S. Latin America Policy

Keith Mines on the Future of U.S. Latin America Policy

Thursday, November 12, 2020

By: Keith Mines

Intense polarization in Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia will present Washington with significant challenges in the years ahead. But USIP’s Keith Mines says, for the most part, leaders in those countries “are looking for a way forward … there’s a more realistic framework of coexistence that’s emerging.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

COVID-19 and Conflict: Colombia

COVID-19 and Conflict: Colombia

Thursday, August 6, 2020

By: Steve Hege

Though a 2016 peace agreement ended Colombia’s decades-long conflict with the FARC, armed strife continues to strain the country’s political and security institutions, making an effective pandemic response all the more challenging. Violence against social leaders and former combatants has risen at an alarming pace, and the implementation of much-needed reforms outlined in the peace accord has stalled. Meanwhile, armed groups have capitalized on the virus to bolster their influence by imposing their own repressive local lockdowns and consolidating control over illicit trade. In this #COVIDandConflict video, our Steve Hege looks at how the virus has impacted Colombia and what opportunities may still exist to advance peace.

Type: Blog

Global Health

Measuring Collective Impact: Creating a Framework for Assessing Multiple Peacebuilding Projects in Colombia

Measuring Collective Impact: Creating a Framework for Assessing Multiple Peacebuilding Projects in Colombia

Thursday, July 30, 2020

By: Diego Benitez

USIP implemented its Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict (IMPACT) program first in the Central African Republic and later in Colombia, where it worked directly with peacebuilding organizations to gauge their collective impact on fostering reconciliation in the wake of the 2016 peace accord between the government and FARC rebels. Drawing on the challenges encountered and lessons learned, this report provides suggestions for how future iterations of the IMPACT approach can help policymakers, donors, and practitioners achieve greater and more cost-effective results from the peacebuilding projects they support.

Type: Special Report

Education & Training

View All Publications