IOM, USAID Support Colombia to Advance Peace Process with Guerrillas

Colombia - The Colombian government, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, has opened a virtual course called Learn about the Peace Process. The course looks to disseminate information about what is taking place at the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC guerrilla group in Havana. The course is designed for any interested citizen, be they Colombian or foreigner.

Registration for the course will be permanently open and can be done through this link (Registration for Virtual Course). The course is divided into eight modules, which use various education tools, such as video-conferences, presentations, written documents and virtual fora. For its start, the course will only be available in Spanish.

Learn about the Peace Process is an initiative of the Territories for Peace Network, a division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace. It receives support from both the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and IOM, in the framework of a comprehensive strategy to increase citizen awareness and knowledge about the peace process and the tools which can be used to send proposals to the negotiating table.

“For us, it is very important that the citizenry know what the peace process is, because reaching a successful agreement will be the most important event of our lives. What we want to do with this course is let the country know – in a simple way – what the basic elements of the peace process are: the context, the structure of the conversations, how they are carried out and, above all, the points on which we have already come to an agreement,” stated Sergio Jaramillo, the High Commissioner for Peace and plenipotentiary negotiator for the Colombian government in Havana.

Currently, the course has about 4,400 people registered from all the departments in the country, and even some Colombians in other countries and foreigners have registered – all interested in the peace process. Also, different social sectors, such as universities, national and local institutions, social organizations, members of the Armed Forces, indigenous people and the community in general are represented.

Alejandro Guidi, Chief of Mission at IOM Colombia, stated, “We believe that strengthening citizen knowledge and participation regarding the peace process is fundamental to the transition towards peace in Colombia. It is precisely for this reason that we are supporting the creation of pedagogical tools which let the country have better knowledge about what has been agreed upon so far in Havana.”

“What we are looking for is that Colombian citizens and interested foreigners alike have all the elements necessary to form their own opinion about the peace process and to be able to send us their recommendations, suggestions and critiques – based on solid information – to the Government negotiating team,” Jaramillo added.

Colombia has experienced more than 50 years of armed conflict with various guerrilla groups. Since October 2012, the Government has been carrying out peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – or FARC, in Spanish. The dialogues are based on six points, for three of which there already exist agreements: comprehensive rural development, political participation and the problem of illicit drugs. Currently the issue of victims is being discussed. The points on the end of the conflict and the referendum and implementation of the agreements have yet to be negotiated.

For further information please contact Jadín Samit Vergara, IOM Colombia, Tel: +57 1 639-7777 Ext. 1715,  Email: