Stimulating discussion on The Colombian Peace Talks

On 20 November 2013, the Oxford Network of Peace Studies, the Latin American Centre and the Oxford Department of International Development hosted the conference “The Colombian Peace Talks: A Challenge for Security and Democracy?”, convened by Annette Idler. Taking place one year after the beginning of the current peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), this timely event was the first of its nature at Oxford. In a multidisciplinary dialogue, the delegates explored Colombia’s challenges related to security and democracy during the peace process and reflected upon the long-term implications for a potential post-conflict period. The conference thus provided a critical space to engage in a fruitful, intellectually stimulating discussion guided by the following themes: (i) past peace negotiations; (ii) democracy and political participation; (iii) security, drugs and justice; (iv) land issues and victims’ rights; (v) lessons learned from other peace processes. The event brought together some ninety delegates from Oxford and across the UK, Europe and Colombia. Participants included senior and junior academics, the NGO community, diplomats, analysts from think tanks and development agencies as well as citizens interested in the topic. Panelists included among others Ingrid Betancourt, John Dew, Jorge Orlando Melo, Mauricio Rubio, Markus Schultze-Kraft, Leigh Payne, Henry Patterson and Eduardo Posada-Carbó. Mauricio Rodríguez Múnera, the Special Peace Advisor to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, delivered the conference dinner speech. The event was supported by Canning House and by the Colombian Embassy to the UK. For the conference report please contact annette.idler@qeh.ox.ac.uk. (Photo by Alejandro Olayo).