Earlier this morning, the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end his country’s 52 year conflict. One hundred and fifteen years ago, Henry Dunant—founder of the ICRC—received the first Nobel Peace Prize, shared with French economist Frédéric Passy, for his work with victims of war, making Dunant the first Swiss Nobel laureate. The Nobel Committee continued to honor Dunant’s legacy, awarding the ICRC three times with the Nobel Peace Prize: in 1917, 1944 and 1963.
This week has also seen backsliding in regards to peace. Colombia’s voters rejected an agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC— the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — which would have ended the longest running war in the Western Hemisphere. On Monday, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry announced Washington was suspending talks with Moscow over the Syrian crisis following a failed ceasefire earlier in September. And late last week, Shimon Peres, the Israeli elder statesman who shared a Nobel Prize for forging a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, died.
In this week’s roundup, we take a look at some of the conversations and discussions happening around the process of peace around the world as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
From the Washington Post
The Obama administration on Wednesday sent its special envoy to Colombia’s peace process back to Havana, writes Karen DeYoung, where representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC rebels met to determine whether it was possible to salvage the agreement rejected last weekend by that country’s voters. Watch the WaPo video piece on the situation here.
From The Economist
Following this week’s defeat of an agreement that would end 52 years of war, The Economist writes, “After four years of talks in Havana, negotiators from his government and the FARC rebel army had reached an agreement to end a 52-year war, Latin America’s longest-running conflict. Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos asked voters to approve it in a referendum, which was held this weekend. By a very slim margin, they said “No”. That shocking result leaves the peace process in limbo, plunges the country into uncertainty and weakens the president. Both sides have said they will honor, for the time being at least, the ceasefires they declared this summer. But it is far from clear whether and how the truce can be sustained over the long run.”
In this piece in Politico, Writer Susan B. Glasser writes that Peres, who died last week at 93, was the last living link to the era of Israel’s founders and his death “the end of the era of giants.” What does his death mean for the possibility of an Israel-Palestine peace negotiation?
Suleiman Al-Khalidi and David Brunnstrom report on the situation in Aleppo, while nations discuss rebuilding a peace process the United States broke off this week. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who announced on Monday that Washington was suspending talks with Moscow due to Russia's role in the offensive, said peace efforts must carry on.
From Voice of America
VOA’s Paul Vrieze says fresh violence in northern and southeastern Myanmar showed the limits of the success of the peace process so far. The U.S. Embassy in Yangon warned the violence could “undermine the progress and goodwill generated by the recent Union Peace Conference.”
From Ted Talks
The road to peace (Videos)
In this curated list of ten individual Ted Talks, speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how sustainable peace just might be attainable.
From Foreign Policy Podcast
FP staffers talk about their reporting on the ground in South Sudan and Colombia and how war crimes, revolution, women, and Washington all played a role in those countries’ faltering peace processes.
From the Archives: To see the role the ICRC has played in the Colombia peace process, check out this Intercross interview with the Colombia Head of Delegation back in 2013.
Are you a writer, videographer, photographer or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (a.k.a. the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: nclark (at) icrc (dot) org