Wednesday (Dec. 1) marked the fifth anniversary of implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the former FARC-EP that ended the country’s deadly 52-year armed conflict.
According to a new special report from the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the first five years of implementation of the Colombian Final Agreement have laid a firm foundation for the ongoing peace process through the creation of a powerful institutional infrastructure that will make the agreement feasible in the long-term.
The special report, “Five Years of Peace Agreement Implementation in Colombia: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities to Increase Implementation Levels,” covers implementation from December 2016 through October 2021.
Despite changes in pace, the report notes that Colombia’s Peace Accord implementation process has never stopped. When compared with other peace processes studied by PAM, this is a great achievement and cause for optimism in Colombia. However, the report also identifies existing challenges as well as opportunities to advance implementation and strengthen the ongoing peace process across the country.
At the five-year mark, the Kroc Institute reports that 30 percent of the 578 provisions within the agreement have been completed, 18 percent are at an intermediate level of implementation, 37 percent are at a minimal stage and the remaining 15 percent have not started implementation. Levels of progress vary across each of the six points of the agreement and within the agreement’s two cross-cutting approaches focused on gender and ethnic inclusion. After five years, stipulations relating to the cross-cutting ethnic approach show only 13 percent of provisions completed, and the gender approach shows 12 percent complete.
Points 3 and 6 stand out for their high level of completed stipulations, Points 4 and 5 exhibit mid-level implementation and Points 1 and 2 demonstrate low implementation levels.
The report mentions ongoing challenges facing the implementation process, including violence caused by illegal armed actors, political polarization and the devastating social and economic effects of COVID-19.
But despite these challenges, the Kroc Institute highlights many key implementation milestones reached in each point of the agreement, as well as opportunities to increase implementation levels over the next five years. The report emphasizes the importance of targeted efforts to implement commitments that are incomplete and that can have a positive catalytic effect on other stipulations.
In order to build a stable and lasting peace, the report encourages all citizens, territorial agencies, nongovernmental organizations and international community members to recommit to their roles as crucial parts of the implementation system. This cooperation will bring Colombia closer to a reality where the end of conflict strengthens the experience of reconciliation, security and justice for all Colombians.
The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame and is one of the leading peace research and study centers in the world. One of its main programs is the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM), which manages the most comprehensive database regarding the implementation of 34 peace agreements around the world.
By mandate of the government of Colombia and the former FARC-EP, signatory parties of the Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, the Kroc Institute is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the agreement. The Kroc Institute has released five prior reports on the status of overall implementation, as well as three reports on implementation of gender provisions and a report on implementation of ethnic provisions. Review all reports here: https://peaceaccords.nd.edu/barometer/colombia-reports.
The main partner of the Kroc Institute in Colombia is the National Secretariat of Pastoral Social Cáritas Colombiana, an initiative of the Catholic Church. The organization has extensive experience and has been recognized for its social justice efforts and its support for efforts to consolidate peace in local communities throughout the country.