At the core of the U.S. Institute of Peace’s work are mediation, negotiation and dialogue—each a means of moving parties in conflict toward a mutually acceptable outcome. Dialogues in areas affected by conflict are ways of bridging divides and bringing communities together to heal divisions. Negotiation is a fundamental skill that is at the heart of most of USIP’s conflict resolution training. The Institute provides education and training on mediation, negotiation and dialogue for a range of stakeholders including civil society organizations, youth and others key actors in conflict settings.
A fines del año pasado, la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, controlada por la oposición, votó a favor de disolver el “gobierno interino” encabezado por Juan Guaidó, un proyecto de cuatro años diseñado para sustituir al gobernante del país, Nicolás Maduro. Este voto se produce en medio de un panorama regional cambiante, con gobiernos de izquierda recién elegidos en los vecinos Brasil y Colombia que apoyan una solución negociada al conflicto y un enfoque más moderado por parte de muchos de los aliados tradicionales en el exterior de la oposición. La clave para el progreso en el próximo año será mantener negociaciones consistentes, que siguen siendo el lugar más eficiente para tomar decisiones clave, como sobre el futuro de las elecciones y la relación entre el chavismo y la oposición. Hay varias formas clave de ayudar a nutrir y sostener estas conversaciones, así como parta hacerlas más efectivas en pro de lograr mejoras a corto plazo en la vida de los venezolanos.
At the end of last year, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly voted to disband the “interim government,” led by Juan Guaidó, a four-year project designed to displace the country’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro. This comes amid a shifting regional landscape, with newly elected leftist governments in neighboring Brazil and Colombia supporting a negotiated solution to the conflict, and a more nuanced approach from many of the opposition’s traditional international supporters. The key to progress in the year ahead will be maintaining consistent negotiations, which remain the most efficient venue for key decisions, such as on elections, and engagement. There are several key ways to help nurture and sustain these talks, and to make them more impactful in achieving short-term improvements in the lives of the Venezuelan people.
As part of its ambitious “Total Peace” agenda, the new Colombian government recently restarted peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), marking the first new negotiations since January 2019. And while this cycle of talks adopted the same agenda and process framework as the previous efforts, current President Gustavo Petro appointed a diverse and broad negotiations team in the hopes of generating early momentum and support. Petro intends to advance on partial accords as quickly as possible — building up to a comprehensive agreement before his brief four-year term in office is complete.
To increase understanding of these changes and their impacts, USIP convened a working group consisting of experts from NATO countries and from NATO’s formal partner countries in the Asia-Pacific: Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, which are informally known as the Asia-Pacific Four (or AP4).
USIP seeks to fill the gap in information regarding communal conflicts and locally driven peace initiatives across Nigeria by publishing an annual State of Peace in Nigeria (SOPN) report. While measuring violence is relatively straightforward, defining what peace means to ordinary Nigerians has been largely overlooked — even though such definitions may be more meaningful.
In support of the Evidence Act and as part of the U.S. national security architecture, USIP is carrying out its own learning agenda. Peacebuilding has long been viewed as too messy and complex for evidence-based approaches — but USIP’s mix of research and practice belies that assumption.