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Owning the process: Public participation in peacemaking

The process for making a transition from war to peace provides an opportunity to agree new political, constitutional and economic arrangements that can deal with the roots of a conflict. However such decisions are often made solely by governments and armed groups’ representatives, who do not always represent the wider public’s interests.

Accord 13 outlines approaches developed by government and civil society that open up the process to more people.

It reveals strategies for more democratic peacemaking with a focus on the mechanisms in South Africa, Guatemala and Mali, plus examples from Colombia, the Philippines and Northern Ireland.

The publication highlights how opportunities for participation have succeeded in:

  • widening the range of issues addressed
  • producing broadly legitimate peace agreements
  • strengthening the capacity for inclusive political participation in future governance
  • facilitating a degree of political reconciliation

Accord 13 includes key texts and agreements from different peace processes.

The issue is translated into Spanish (by Gernika Gogoratuz) and Russian and a policy brief is available in English, SpanishFrench and Russian.  There are also teaching materials and other related resources.


This issue of Accord was edited by Catherine Barnes.

A very valuable resource for us ... We have referred [to] the lessons of [this] document in our country, Nepal, to promote people’s participation in peace processes.

Environment and Population Awareness Programme, Nepal

Issue editor