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Peace & Trust

Peace & Trust

Societies emerging from violent conflict face many challenges as they aim for political stability and socio-economic development. Above all, these societies have to deal with the legacy of the past: widespread human rights violations, continuing communal or ethnic tensions, the collapse of the justice system, the failure of the security services and the erosion of state legitimacy. Countries have sought to manage that legacy with the support of the international community using various approaches such as truth-seeking, reconciliation initiatives and transitional justice mechanisms. These approaches have become part of the standard framework of peace agreements and processes. But do these approaches work? The Kofi Annan Foundation questions current practices and proposes ways that better help war-torn societies to build lasting peace.

Key Publications

Report | Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed

Our report, produced in 2018 together with our partner Interpeace and support of the Government of Finland and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, argues that reconciliation requires a tailor-made approach and lasting attention from all segments of society: if we invested a fragment of what is spent in war on reconciliation, lasting peace might well be enjoyed by many more citizens around the world.

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Summary | Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed

This summary, produced in 2019, includes the core chapters of the full report “Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed”, as well as a brief overview of the four case studies on reconciliation in Guatemala, Northern Ireland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.

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Report | Challenging the Conventional: Can Truth Commissions Strengthen Peace Processes

The Kofi Annan Foundation and the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) partnered for this report, “Challenging the Conventional: Can Truth Commissions Strengthen Peace Processes” to explore the interplay of peacebuilding and truth seeking.

Published in 2014, the report was the outcome of case study research and a high-level symposium that brought together policy makers, practitioners, and scholars.

This report. available in English, Spanish and French, highlights critical issues that peace mediators and transitional justice practitioners should take into account when considering a truth-seeking mechanism as part of a peace process, among them: 1) clarity of purpose from different stakeholders; 2) the context, especially political conditions and motivations; 3) the timing and sequencing; 4) the distinction between human rights obligations and what is “merely” good practice; and 5) the credibility and capabilities of those leading the process.

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