Speech delivered on January 13, 2014 at “It Began in Boston: Celebrating a Century of Peace Work in Massachusetts,” the Annual World Peace Foundation toast to peace, held in the Edwin Ginn Library at Tufts University’s The Fletcher School.

It is a pleasure to be here tonight for this annual event.  I have been a [...]

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El impacto del conflicto armado que vive Colombia desde hace más de 50 años, aun tiene capítulos de los cuales las y los colombianos y el mundo no conocemos. Sin embargo, el Informe ¡Basta Ya! Colombia: memorias de guerra y dignidad, realizado por el Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica[1] es un aporte valioso en la dirección correcta: narrar la verdad sobre las graves violaciones ocurridas en Colombia; develar la acción de todos los actores del conflicto, sus intereses y vínculos con las élites políticas y sociales en Colombia; rescatar la memoria de las víctimas y la persistencia de su sufrimiento; mostrar las políticas judiciales, gubernamentales y administrativas dirigidas a imponer justicia sobre el muro de impunidad existente; y recomendar medidas concretas para la superación de estos problemas.

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The account of armed conflict that has affected Colombia for more than 50 years still has chapters that are unknown to Colombians and the world. However, the report “Enough Already! Colombia: Memories of War and Dignity,” created by the National Center for Historical Memory [1], is a valuable step in the right direction and it serves a number of purposes: narrating the truth about the [most?] severe violations that have taken place; revealing the activities of all actors in the conflict, as well as their interests and links to national political and social elites; capturing the memory of the victims and the persistence of their suffering; highlighting judicial, administrative and governmental policies to begin to use judicial mechanism to create cracks in the wall of impunity; and recommending concrete measures to overcome these problems.

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The South Sudanese people made extraordinary sacrifices to achieve independence two and a half years ago. That makes their leaders’ abject failure to build a viable South Sudan since then all the more galling. Now, a political crisis imperils the nation. But there is a silver lining: The turmoil could give South Sudan the opportunity to reset the national agenda. The country’s leaders cannot afford to squander this moment, and their first task is a sober appraisal of what has gone so disastrously wrong.

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Any political process must take into account South Sudan’s unique and painful history. The biggest task is an all-inclusive national discussion on what it means to be a nation. The political elites should listen to the wisdom of pastors and civil society leaders, who are insisting that the politicians return to the path of dialogue and healing. The road to a viable state lies in national reconciliation.

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As 2013 draws to a close, we would like to take a moment and reflect on the conversations that have unfolded on our blog in the past year. This was the year we launched the redesigned World Peace Foundation website and expanded our social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.

In addition [...]

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