Building paths to peace

BUILDING PATHS TO PEACE

Bogotá, february 4, 2017

 

 (Adopted by the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates)

 

We, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates gathered in Bogotá to promote world peace and support the Colombian people's efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace, welcome President Juan Manuel Santos to the Nobel family and congratulate him on reaching an agreement to end a 52 year internal armed conflict. We thank the people, the Colombian civil society, and in particular the Bogota Chamber of Commerce for their extraordinary support of this summit.

We are meeting in Colombia to share with the Colombian people our own experiences in the construction of peace and to seek a consensus on the fundamental principles for guiding paths leading to peace. 

We welcome the recent signing in November 2016 of the agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrillas, which ended the last and longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere, a conflict that victimized and displaced more than 8 million people, and caused more than 220 thousand deaths.

We highlight various characteristics of the peace process in Colombia, which can be used as lessons for other unresolved conflicts in the world: 

 

  • Positive and negative experiences of other processes were studied and taken into account.
  • Negotiation began with a fundamental principle: The reclaiming and guarantee of the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition is at the center of the solution of conflict.
  • An innovative model of transitional justice was achieved which, while respecting international standards, seeks to achieve maximum justice without sacrificing peace.
  • The process was carried out in an environment of discretion, patience and seriousness, with periodic communications to media, avoiding the pressure to produce a daily result or news report.

 

We call on the international community to accompany and support implementation, just as it supported the peace process in Colombia. This includes ensuring the presence of the State and its services in areas most affected by the conflict; The demining of the territory; The implementation of the transitional justice system; Programs for rural development, substitution of illicit crops and reparation for victims; Fighting against violence generated by criminal gangs, such as those formed by former paramilitaries, and the reincorporation of ex-guerrillas into civilian life, including participation in FARC policies after disarmament.

The agreement to end the conflict in Colombia has been the best news of world peace for some time. For this reason, as Laureates with the Nobel Peace Prize, we pledge to support the consolidation of that peace, for the benefit of Colombia, the Latin American region and the world.

We also receive with special consideration "The Colombia Charter: 10 Principles for Peace", which President Santos has proposed to this Summit for support by fellow laureates and their international dissemination.  

We are confident that the example of Colombia will inspire peoples facing other conflicts to persist in their efforts to find a just and lasting peace.

Challenges to world order and peace have been increasing in recent years and represent an enormous challenge for the international community and multilateral institutions. We are deeply concerned about the threat the new wave of populism, exclusionary nationalism and protectionism poses to global cooperation. Threats facing humanity can only be addressed if we continue to cooperate on a global level.  

The greatest existential threats to humanity today are climate change, environmental degradation, and the continued existence of more than 14,000 nuclear weapons.  

In their diverse facets and denominations the arms race, continuous wars, dictatorships, terrorism (including terrorism of State) have spread and continue to spread death and pain in many countries. We recognize that terrorism can be better combated if social justice, democratic institutions and good governance are guaranteed. The war in Syria and the tragedy of its population is a wound in the consciousness of humanity that continues to bleed. The refugee and migration crisis continues to escalate. The various migratory waves that we are living in the last decades require an unprecedented effort of human solidarity and long-term strategic plans. We must be on guard to avoid politicizing humanitarian aid. We express our extreme concern about the bombing of hospitals and schools.   

Other global crises, such as endemic poverty, social injustice, child labor, urban violence, sexual violence against women and children, human trafficking, drug trafficking and the devastating effects of the war on drugs continue to claim victims in various regions of the world, and delay sustainable development.  In the face of these threats and challenges facing peace, we CALL TO ACTION the international community, governments, civil society, and youth to the private sector to: 

Implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and advance a coherent global strategy that will ensure the long-term protection of our precious planet;

Work for inclusive development and sustainable peace, addressing the root causes of poverty and war, prioritizing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and urging the international community to allocate the necessary financial resources for its implementation;

Renew the vision of a world without nuclear weapons and support the urgent negotiation of a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons leading to their complete elimination;

Confirm the need to eradicate other weapons that particularly affect the civilian population, such as anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions; as well as preemptively prohibit fully autonomous weapons, and control the possession and use of small arms;

Advance in the development and implementation of coherent and interrelated policies that promote a harmonious and sustainable development of our societies that generates peace, prosperity and well-being for all - particularly for marginalized children, young people and women -, emphasizing the importance of reducing inequality;

Act on the compelling evidence that our world will only achieve higher levels of peace, prosperity and development if the rights of women, children and minorities are reflected in peace processes, public policies, budget allocations and clear commitments that lead to more inclusive leadership;

Promote integrated and inclusive policies that generate productive, quality education and employment that benefit young people, women, victims and those displaced by violence, those who are reintegrated into society after a peace process, and those discriminated against due to ethnicity, race, religion, gender, disabilities or any other reason, so that they may be incorporated into the labor force. We call on states to combat hate speech based on any of these motivations;

Call on all sectors to take concerted action to end human trafficking, modern slavery, sexual exploitation, child labor and all forms of violence against women and children;

Advance concerted actions at the global, regional, national and local levels to combat drug trafficking, narco-politics and corruption, and accelerate the process of civil disarmament, always within parameters that guarantee and protect human rights. We should not allow the criminalization of human rights defenders and we must firmly oppose new forms of racism, discrimination or xenophobia.

Promote campaigns and program development in which youth, teachers, civil society, technology and social networks actively and responsibly participate to reinforce a culture of peace;

Urge states to include public policies that promote and strengthen Peace Education;

Lead the development of a complete, modern and effective operational peace architecture, including improving the means for resolving international conflicts and disputes, for sustainable peace and to advance a common, comprehensive and inclusive strategy to end war and the threat of war;

Defend and revitalize the United Nations, strengthening the supremacy of the law at the international level and in the member countries of the organization, and impartially and forcefully condemning violations of human rights, international humanitarian law offenses, repression and persecution of peaceful opposition, and the massacres of civilians carried out with impunity. We call upon states and the international community to ensure the rule of law;

We invite states, peoples and religions of the world to recognize and understand the interdependence among people, communities and nations, with a sense of unity, compassion and solidarity. Only in this way can we transform the world - the shared home of the human family - into a world of peace.