Democratic action for peace: supporting lasting peace in Colombia
21-03-2018

The Peace Process is rewriting the political game in Colombia.

It is important that political actors have the support they need to implement this historic change. Active and informed political participation of all the relevant groups is crucial to making sure Colombian politics become inclusive, transparent and effective.

To lend its support in this process, NIMD launched a new programme called “Democratic action for peace”. Funded by the EU, the programme aims to deepen democracy in Colombia in the context of the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

 

The programme

NIMD will provide support to the implementation in three main ways:

1. By developing the capacities of political actors
NIMD will support political parties in their work to implement the reforms required by the Peace Agreement. This will include supporting new political parties like the FARC to become fully-fledged political organizations.

2.By promoting a democratic culture and reconciliation
Colombia as a country is hurting. Many people suffered pain and hardship during the conflict. But it is now time to come together to work for peace. NIMD will set up eight multiparty Democracy Schools for civil society and (aspiring) politicians from all parties in those regions most affected by the conflict. By bringing people from across the political spectrum together in dialogue, and by promoting democratic values, NIMD hopes to help heal past wounds.

3. By providing technical support
NIMD will help implement and track the Peace Agreement by conducting research and setting out recommendations. As part of this, we will hold multiparty dialogue sessions on the challenges that parties face in their implementation of the Agreement.

Everything you need to know about the new programme (in Spanish).

The launch

The new programme will be launched on 21 March in Bogotá, Colombia. High level speakers – including H.E. Jeroen Roodenburg, Dutch Ambassador to Colombia, and H.E. Patricia Llombart Cussac, EU Ambassador to Colombia – will discuss the current situation in Colombia and their hopes for the future. This will be followed by a short presentation of the programme and our aims and objectives.

NIMD staff and participants at the launch. Photo: Arie Kievit

NIMD and the Colombian Peace Agreement

NIMD is the only Dutch NGO to have two official roles in Colombia’s Peace Agreement.

In the first of these roles, NIMD was a member of the selection committee for the Special Electoral Mission, a group responsible for providing recommendations to improve the electoral system. The Special Electoral Mission strived to make the political system more inclusive, opening up democratic space for new actors and thereby mitigating the chances of a relapse into armed conflict.

As its second official role, NIMD provides institutional support for the implementation of the Agreement on Political Participation, together with Carter Centre, UNASUR and Switzerland, and aims to communicate the significance of the reforms more broadly to the public in Colombia.

We are excited to have this opportunity to promote inclusive politics and reconciliation in Colombia. We firmly believe that inclusive dialogue and the promotion of a democratic culture are crucial in a country struggling to overcoming polarization and achieve lasting peace.