The Colombia Peace Forum is a roundtable established by the U.S. Institute of Peace for policy makers, members of the academic community, and Colombia specialists to discuss the peace process in Colombia and help inform U.S. policy options on Colombia. USIP’s Colombia Peace Forum on May 29, 2013 brought together some thirty scholars from throughout the western hemisphere to share their insights on the impact of the peace process on internal dynamics within Colombia and on the region, and to discuss U.S. policy options. The roundtable was attended by about 70 people, including Congressional staffers, members of the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the White House, U.S. Southern Command, Inter-American Foundation, World Bank, development agencies and foundations, the Colombian Embassy, and the NGO community.
A report from the Colombia Peace Forum can be read here. The report underscores the importance of:
• balancing the at-times conflicting needs for confidentiality, transparency, and the need to prepare the public to embrace the peace process;
• supporting the institutional capacities of municipal and sub-municipal authorities to implement the Victims and Land Restitution Law and other agreements that might be reached in Havana;
• clear and consistent messaging and actions by the United States and the international community in favor of the peace process;
• a comprehensive approach toward the peace process that includes all insurgent groups, particularly the ELN as well as the FARC;
• a longer-term view of the process that anticipates the need for ratification, implementation, and monitoring of a peace agreement;
• support for an independent role for civil society organizations and for building capacity in the regions to ratify, implement, and monitor any peace agreements that are forthcoming.