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The rocky path from elections to a new constitution in Tunisia
02 February 2016 by Christopher Thornton

The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet has once more thrust Tunisia into the international spotlight.

This paper, written in early 2014, examines the Tunisian National Dialogue itself, the context in which the process took place, as well as efforts by others which pre-dated the initiative honoured by the Nobel Committee. The paper praises the often innovative Tunisian approaches to consensus-building and inclusive decision-making, including those used by the Quartet, while highlighting seldom heard concerns about the political role played by the national dialogue convenors.

At a time when demonstrations and violent clashes once again highlight the fragility of the transition in Tunisia and other countries following the 'Arab Spring', this paper shows that, although it may be turbulent, Tunisia’s transition process so far offers many lessons for other similar contexts.

Oslo Forum 2015 Meeting Report
06 November 2015 by Paul Dziatkowiec, Christina Buchhold, Jonathan Harlander, Massimiliano Verri

Around 100 of the world's prominent mediators and peace process actors attended the 2015 Oslo Forum, the leading international network of armed conflict mediation practitioners, in June in Norway. They shared practical experiences and engaged in lively debates on current peacemaking practice and mediation trends. The event’s overarching theme was ‘Peacemaking in the new world disorder’. Key highlights included a frank discussion with Colombian President Santos on the complexities of the peace process in his country; a meeting between senior political leaders and representatives of the Afghan Government and Taliban who, for the first time, outlined the broad contours of a possible peace process; a conversation with ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the nexus between justice and peace; and reflections by high-level mediators, including former EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, on the intricacies of peace process mechanics. Other issues covered during the Forum included: possible responses to the Islamic State phenomenon; the Serbia–Kosovo agreement on normalising bilateral relations; peacemaking trends in Asia; insecurity and instability in Northern Africa and the Middle East; Nigeria’s multifaceted security challenges; the implications of an Iran nuclear deal for stability in the Middle East; and South Sudan’s ongoing turmoil. Details of the discussions are presented in this report.

Annual Report 2014
13 May 2015 by HD

HD marked its fifteenth year of existence supporting the conclusion of 11 peace and violence reduction agreements in all four regions of its operational work. In Tunisia, a Charter of Honour contributed to peaceful elections in the country, while, in Asia, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro prepared the way for peace between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines. In Africa, the Ougadougou Declaration included a cessation of hostilities agreement between opposition groups in Mali and, in Eurasia, a Declaration sought to protect civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine. All four agreements, as well as a complete review of HD’s operations in 2014, are highlighted in this Annual Report.

The publication also outlines how HD is working to monitor and evaluate the impact of its activities and briefly presents the organisation’s new 2015-2018 strategy which includes plans to place greater emphasis on early conflict analysis and on developing new contacts in areas where conflict is emerging.
  
As HD’s 2014 Annual Report shows, the organisation has grown a great deal since it started in 1999, and it is now working on 35 peacemaking initiatives across Africa, Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East.

The publication is available in various formats:

As a flipbook: http://issuu.com/centreforhumanitariandialogue/docs/annual_report_2014

As a standard pdf: http://www.hdcentre.org/uploads/tx_news/Annual-Report-2014.pdf

UN sanctions and peace negotiations: possibilities for complementarity
17 February 2015 by Thomas Biersteker & Zuzana Hudáková

While examples of complementarity between United Nations (UN) sanctions and peace mediation efforts are generally rare, there are instances in which sanctions contribute positively to reaching a ceasefire, negotiating peace agreements, maintaining peace settlements, and achieving peacebuilding goals. In the publication, UN sanctions and peace negotiations: possibilities for complementarity, the authors explore the nature, use and effectiveness of sanctions and identify mechanisms through which UN targeted sanctions support peacebuilding. While there are several reasons to expect that sanctions might complicate mediation efforts, the publication concludes that mediation processes and sanctions are not inherently contradictory and puts forward some recommendations on ways to improve the co-ordination between the two.

UN sanctions and peace negotiations is the fourth paper in the Oslo Forum Papers series. The Oslo Forum Papers seek to advance thinking and debate on key, yet sensitive, issues linked to armed conflict mediation and international peacemaking.