Event: The Colombian Peace Process – A Northern Ireland Perspective

Event: The Colombian Peace Process – A Northern Ireland Perspective

The event will be available via livestream at www.wola.org

The Washington Office on Latin America, Workers Uniting, United Steelworkers, and Justice for Colombia are pleased to invite you to a Congressional briefing on
The Colombian Peace Process – A Northern Ireland Perspective
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET
Washington Office on Latin America

Featuring opening remarks by

Mariela Kohon
Director, Justice for Colombia

with contributions from

Jeffrey Donaldson MP (Member of Parliament)
Democratic Unionist Party, Negotiator on Good Friday Agreement, former British Army Soldier

Mark Durkan MP (Member of Parliament)
SDLP, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and Negotiator on Good Friday Agreement

John McAllister MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly)
Deputy Leader of NI21 Unionist Party and former Deputy Leader of Ulster Unionists

Patricia McKeown
Leader, UNISON Public Services Union, Northern Ireland

Jimmy Kelly
Leader, UNITE Ireland Leader, UNITE Ireland, UK and Irish Trade Union

Brian Campfield
General Secretary, NIPSA Public Services Union, Northern Ireland

Moderated by

Gimena Sánchez
Senior Associate for the Andes, WOLA

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20009

To RSVP, please click here. For more information, please contact Adam Schaffer at [email protected] or (202) 797-2171.

Peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC formally began in Havana in November 2012 after months of secret talks. In the nearly year and a half since their inception, the negotiating parties have reached preliminary agreements on two of the most challenging issues: rural development and political participation of the FARC. As the talks have evolved, it has become increasingly evident that the United States has an important role to play, adjusting both its policies and aid packages to support Colombia’s transition toward peace.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, the British NGO Justice for Colombia connected representatives of the parties to the Northern Ireland conflict with the actors in the Colombian negotiations to share their experiences in conflict resolution and peace building, as well as learn about the reality of the Colombian conflict.

As a result, in November 2012 a delegation of political and social leaders from Northern Ireland, including members of the Good Friday Agreement negotiating teams, former British army soldiers and former IRA combatants visited Colombia to share their experiences with President Santos and his negotiators, as well as with representatives of civil society, victims’ groups, retired military personnel, former FARC hostages, imprisoned guerrilla combatants and the media. Following this visit, in May 2013, a similar group travelled to Havana to meet directly with the FARC negotiators, becoming the first international delegation to meet with the FARC since the talks began.

Their visit to Washington comes as they plan ongoing exchanges with Colombia, and aims to build a transatlantic alliance of influential supporters of the peace process. Recognizing the crucial role played by the U.S. administration, politicians and wider civil society in supporting the achievement of peace in Northern Ireland, the delegation will report on their experiences and look at ways to build similar international support for the Colombian peace process

The panelists, who include members from all sides of the Northern Irish conflict, have a unique perspective to offer on the support needed to help Colombia achieve a lasting and sustainable peace.

To view a full bio list of the panelists, please click here.

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