BUILDING ROADS TO PEACE

Bogotá, February 4, 2017

 (Adopted by the XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates)

We, the Nobel Peace Laureates, have gathered in Bogotá to promote peace in the world and to support the efforts of the Colombian people to achieve a fair and long-lasting peace.  We welcome President Juan Manuel Santos to the Nobel family and congratulate him for the agreement reached to end a 52-year internal armed conflict. We thank the Colombian people, civil society, and particularly the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá, for the extraordinary support given to this summit.

We are also here, in Colombia, to share our experiences in peace building with the Colombian people and to seek a consensus on the fundamental principles that should guide the way to peace.

We welcome, enthusiastically, the recent signature – in November 2016 – of the agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrillas that ended the last and longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere, a conflict that left more than 8 million victims and displaced people, and over 220,000 deaths.

We highlight some characteristics of the peace process in Colombia, which may serve as lessons for other conflicts in the world:

  • Positive and negative experiences of other processes were studied and considered.
  • The negotiations started with a fundamental tenet: the core of the solution to the conflict is recognizing, restoring and guaranteeing victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.
  • An innovative model of transitional justice was achieved, which respects international standards, while seeking to attain maximum justice without sacrificing peace.
  • The process was conducted in an environment of discretion, patience and seriousness, with regular communiqués to the media, avoiding the pressure to produce news or results every day.

We urge the international community, in the same manner that it embraced the peace process in Colombia, to accompany and support its implementation. This includes guaranteeing the presence of the State and its services in the areas most affected by the conflict; demining the territory; instituting the transitional justice system; implementing rural development, illicit crop substitution and victim reparation programs; combatting violence from criminal bands, such as those integrated by former paramilitaries; and reincorporating the former guerrillas into civilian life, including the participation of FARC in politics, once it has completed its disarmament.

The agreement ending the conflict in Colombia has been the best peace news the world has received in a long time. That is why, as Nobel Peace Laureates, we commit ourselves to support the consolidation of that peace, for the benefit of the Colombian people, the Latin American region and the whole world.

We have received equally with special consideration, “The Colombia Charter:  10 Principles of Peace”, which President Santos has proposed to this Summit for the endorsement of his Nobel Laureate colleagues, and for its international dissemination.

We hope that the example of Colombia will inspire people dealing with other conflicts to persist with their efforts to find just and lasting peace.

In recent years, world order and peace have been increasingly eroded, constituting an enormous challenge for the international community and the multilateral institutions.  We are deeply concerned about the threat to global cooperation posed by a new wave of populism, exclusive nationalism, and protectionism.  The threats that confront humankind can be resolved only if we continue to cooperate on a global basis.

The main existential threats to humanity, currently, are climate change, environmental degradation, and the continued existence of over 14,000 nuclear weapons.

The arms race, continuing wars, dictatorships, State and non-State terrorism, in their different facets and denominations, have sown and continues to sow death and pain in numerous countries. We acknowledge that terrorism can be best combatted by assuring, social justice, democratic institutions and good governance.  The war in Syria and the immense hardships endured by its people is an open wound in humanity’s conscience that bleeds endlessly. The refugee and migration crisis is still escalating. The different migratory waves we have been experiencing over the past decades demand unprecedented human solidarity and long term strategic planning. We must guard against the politicization of humanitarian aid.   We express our extreme concern over the bombing of hospitals and schools.

Other global crises, such as endemic poverty, social injustice, child labour, 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 several regions of the world, and undermine sustainable development.

In view of these threats and challenges to peace, we make this CALL TO ACTION to the international community – to governments, and to civil society, youth, and the private sector, – to:

Implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and move forward with a comprehensive global strategy to assure the long-term protection of our precious planet.

Work for inclusive development and sustainable peace, by addressing the deep causes of poverty and war, by prioritizing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals; and by calling on 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 negotiations of a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons leading to their complete elimination;

Confirm the need to eradicate other weapons that especially affect the civilian population, such as antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions, to pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons; and to control the possession and use of small arms;

Move forward with the development and implementation of coherent and interrelated policies aimed at promoting the harmonious and sustainable development of our societies, and at creating peace, prosperity and wellbeing for all, particularly for marginalized children, youth and women, emphasizing the importance of reducing inequality;

Act on the clear evidence that our world will only achieve greater levels of peace, prosperity and development if the rights of women, children, and minorities groups are enshrined in peace processes, public policies, budget allocation and clear commitments towards more inclusive leadership.

Promote integrated and inclusive policies to create meaningful, productive and quality education and employment that benefits youth, women, victims and people displaced by violence, those who reintegrate into society after a peace process, and those who are discriminated against for ethnic, racist, religious, gender, disability or any other reasons, in order to incorporate them into the workforce; we call on all States to combat hate speech based on any of these grounds.

Call on all sectors to advance concerted action to end human trafficking, modern day slavery, sexual exploitation, child labour and violence in all its form against women and children.

Advance concerted action at the global, regional, national and local levels, to fight drug trafficking, drug-tainted politics and corruption, and to accelerate the process of civil disarmament, always within parameters ensuring the protection and guarantee of human rights; we should not permit the criminalization of human rights advocates, and should resolutely oppose new forms of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia.

Promote campaigns and the development of programs that responsibly and actively engaging youth, teachers, civil society, and social media and technology to strengthen a culture of peace;

Urge the States to include public policies to promote and strengthen education for peace;

Lead the development of a complete, modern, effective and operational architecture for peace, including the improvement of means for the resolution of international conflicts and disputes, sustaining peace, and to advance a broad, common and inclusive strategy to bring an end to war and to the threats of war;

Defend and revitalize the United Nations, strengthening the enforcement of the Rule of Law at the international level and in the organization’s Member States, and to impartially and cogently condemn human rights violations, humanitarian law violations, the repression and persecution of peaceful opposition and civilian massacres that are perpetrated with impunity; We call States and the international community to enforce the Rule of Law;

We invite the States, peoples and religions of the world of any religion to recognize and understand the interdependence among individuals, communities and nations, within a sense of unity, compassion and solidarity. This is the only way to transform the Earth – the common home of the human family – into a world in peace.

Shirin Ebadi
Leymah Gbowee
Tawakkol Karman
Rigoberta Menchu’ Tum
Josè Ramos-Horta
Juan Manuel Santos
Kailash Satyarthi
Oscar Arias Sanchez
Desmond Tutu
Lech Walesa
Jody Williams
International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
International Peace Bureau (IPB)
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Ouided Bouchamaoui, Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

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