Negotiating Conflict Settlements: Lessons Learnt and Challenges

TitleNegotiating Conflict Settlements: Lessons Learnt and Challenges
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleRoundtable Meeting Report by the Berghof Research Center
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDudouet, V
Number of Pages28 pp.
PublisherBerghof Conflict Research
Accession Number1077

The Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management is pleased to present a report on the conference "Negotiating Conflict Settlements: Lessons Learnt and Challenges", which took place in Berlin on 7-9 March 2008, as part of the Berghof project "Resistance/Liberation Movements and Transition to Politics: Building a Network of Experience".
The conference aimed at facilitating peer-advice and exchange of experience among leading members of (and advisors to) resistance/liberation movements on several cross-cutting issues related to peace negotiations and implementation. The report starts with a short description of the overall project within which the Berlin conference took place, the meeting's specific purposes, and its format. It then describes three sets of lessons-learned and open questions on the dynamics of conflict transformation, namely:
- Coming to the negotiation table. All the invited groups have had some direct experience of peace talks, and they offered some self-reflections on the key factors which allowed them to move forward towards negotiation, such as: a willingness to take risks and initiatives, building alliances with civil society and other political forces to pressure the government into dialogue, mobilising international support, and engaging in pre-negotiation "talks about talks" and other confidence-building measures.
- Rules of engagement during peace negotiations: Acknowledging that the course of peace processes is often extremely long and chaotic, the conference participants discussed a number of key factors for successful negotiations, such as inclusivity, internal cohesion and consultation, power parity at the table, unconditional dialogue, multi-track channels of engagement, and constructive, non-directive third-party facilitation.
- Negotiating the implementation of peace agreements: All participating groups (with the exception of the LTTE) presently find themselves in post-agreement phases of peace implementation, with many state- and peace-building issues still unresolved. They called for stronger international support to monitor, guarantee and enforce the implementation of signed agreements, especially in the domains of security management (e.g. reintegration and security sector reform), political capacity-building, or reconciliation and dealing with the past.

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