Challenges of a Truth Commission Emerging from a Peace Process amid Widespread Social Demand for Truth

The last session of the conference, moderated by Gonzalo Sánchez, Director of Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory, looked closely at the challenges facing a truth commission emerging from a peace process in a context like Colombia, where there is widespread and diverse social demand for truth. The discussion focused on the need for broad social participation and public dialogue if a truth-seeking experience is to be meaningful.

Seeking the Truth After Peace: Opportunities, Challenges and Demands

The second panel of the Bogota conference, moderated by María Camila Moreno, director of ICTJ’s Colombia Office, focused on the opportunities, challenges and demands of seeking the truth after peace. Moreno framed the discussion around central themes, including the need to take advantage of existing momentum to create a truth commission and the need to establish the responsibilities of main actors, institutional or otherwise.

The Role of Truth in Peacebuilding: Complexities, Contributions and Myths

The first working session of the Bogota conference, moderated by Alejandro Santos, director of Revista Semana, focused on the role of truth seeking, and the potential future truth commission in the ongoing peace process in Colombia.

President of Colombia Santos: Moving Towards Truth Is Moving Towards Peace

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos addressed the Bogota conference, thanking ICTJ and Kofi Annan Foundation for organizing the conference and issuing the report “Challenging the Conventional: Can Truth Commissions Strengthen Peace Processes”, which he referred to as timely contributions to peace in Colombia.

Mr. Kofi Annan Delivers Keynote Address

Mr. Kofi Annan, in his Keynote Address to conference participants this morning, reflected on the compromises and trade-offs that must accompany a peace process. However, he stressed that justice cannot be traded for peace – in the short or long term.

“From my own experience with countries as different as Rwanda, Bosnia and Timor-Leste, we have learnt that justice is not an impediment to peace, it is an essential partner.”

David Tolbert opens Bogota conference on truth commissions and peace processes

With Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in attendance, ICTJ President David Tolbert opened the conference “Truth Commissions and Peace Processes: International Experiences and Lessons for Colombia”.

In his opening remarks Tolbert stressed that in Colombia those who have suffered human rights abuses have the right to know the truth and they also, rightly, have strong reasons to expect and demand that a new social arrangement will at least recognize their plight and address their injuries.

David Tolbert: “Colombia Should Take Advantage of the Momentum and Create a Truth Commission”

Ahead of the conference ICTJ and the Kofi Annan Foundation are hosting next Wednesday in Bogotá, ICTJ President David Tolbert spoke to leading Colombian news magazine Revista Semana about plans for official truth seeking in Colombia on violations committed during the country’s internal armed conflict. The interview covered some of the opportunities and challenges that a future official truth commission might face – and considered why the search for truth is so important to victims and Colombian society as whole.

El ICTJ y la Fundación Kofi Annan organizan una conferencia en Colombia sobre experiencias internacionales de las comisiones de la verdad surgidas de procesos de paz

El próximo 25 de febrero, el Centro Internacional para la Justicia Transicional y la Fundación Kofi Annan celebrarán en Bogotá una conferencia que reunirá en tres mesas redondas a reconocidos expertos internacionales y nacionales para reflexionar sobre las lecciones aprendidas de las comisiones de la verdad que han surgido de procesos de paz alrededor del mundo.

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