Peace Negotiations and Agreements

Authored by: Sanam N. Anderlini

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peace Accords, Peacemaking
Region: No Region
Year: 2004
Citation: Anderlini, Sanam N. "Peace Negotiations and Agreements." In Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, edited by International Alert and Women Waging Peace, 16-32. London: International Alert, 2004.

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Negotiations to end wars are never simple. They involve compromises, consensus-building and some level of mutual trust. Often parties negotiate because they recognize the gains that can be made, but even “interest-based” negotiations require enemies to trust each other. For people affected by violence, or those who have fought for a cause, accepting an opponent’s demands is difficult. But for peace to take root, negotiations are an essential starting point. As agreements are reached on key issues, the foundations of peace are strengthened. In many instances the decisions reached at the peace table set the course for the socioeconomic and political transformation of a country. Negotiated agreements are in effect a blueprint for the future. If gender perspectives are absent at this stage, it becomes more difficult to insert them later. It is never too early to engage in peace processes—but sometimes it can be too late. This chapter explains the different types of negotiations that occur primarily at the national level, highlighting the challenges facing women, the strategies they have developed to gain their place at the peace table and the contributions they make.