- Arbitration, reconciliation, and the articulation of public-private efforts to carry out peace-building initiatives are among the many actions the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá has been performing for decades.
The Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá (CCB) has supported entrepreneurs and citizens for over three decades with Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods (ADRM), which allow them to solve their conflicts through dialog and mediation.
By means of its Arbitration and Resolution Center (ARC), the CCB has provided the tools to the scenarios where the society needs them the most, such as schools, companies and vulnerable communities in Bogotá. Additionally, the Chamber uses initiatives that create awareness on the importance of understanding diversity and exercise dialog as the best way of solving disputes.
The CCB, through the Peace-Building Management, seeks to coordinate efforts with the public and private actors to develop initiatives and projects related to peace-building from the business sector.
In its efforts to raise awareness among entrepreneurs and the community on peace-building, the entity nominated Bogotá and succeeded in making the capital city of Colombia the seat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which will take place on February 2 to 5, 2017.
Mónica de Greiff, Executive Director of the CCB said “this event is a space for learning that we are giving to the city, Colombia and the world. It will provide us with the tools to understand each other from our diversity and live together in harmony”.
For the people interested in participating in this free event, registration can be made through the website www.ccb.org.co. After the Summit, Bogotá will be declared World City of Peace.
Peace-building in figures
The Chamber’s ARC has become an international referent in terms of managing mechanisms of alternative justice and conflict solving methods, which are key pieces for creating peaceful environments within the society. Currently, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce offers arbitration services and between 2015 and 2016 attended 560 cases.
In terms of conciliation, the ARC assisted to over 12.000 hearings in the last two years. 83% of the cases showed an agreement made between the parties and with an average time lower than seven days.
Between 2015 and 2016 the Community Cohabitation Program (which focuses on people of low and middle socioeconomic levels) allowed 318,000 citizens access to alternative justice mechanisms, including family disputes (35%) and rent debts (33%).
With a team of 100 conciliators in equity, 79.501 hearings took place. In which citizens came to an agreement in 90% of cases, i.e. in 9 out of 10 cases parties solved their conflict.
Regarding the school context, another fundamental field for peace-building, the CCB has the Hermes School Reconciliation Program. Its objective is to prevent bullying in 452 educational institutions in Bogotá and grow youth as conciliators, so they can become actors helping their classmates solve their differences through dialog. During the last two years the Hermes Program has assisted around 90.000 conciliation processes, with an average effective solution of 97%.