Effective Peace Agreements: Planning, Producing and Implementation Monitoring

27 February 2023

A negotiation process can be called successful if the result of the mediation or negotiation process between the conflicting parties is a peace agreement that is later implemented properly. Depending on the case, there are several options for the form of agreement, where the parties agree to collaborate, or just coexist peacefully and maintain good relations going forward. The result could also be an agreement for a one-time solution to the problem, for example by settling compensation obligations or providing agreed compensation.

In starting a negotiation, it is important for the parties to maintain trust, good faith, reduce tension and maintain reciprocal relations as the basis for seeking a long-lasting agreement. In order to maintain trust between the parties and reduce potential for future conflict, the peace agreement reached must be enforceable. Often, CRU found that after going through the mediation process and reaching a peace agreement, the parties returned to their respective lives with a feeling of relief, but the agreement was not implemented such that no significant changes occurred.

During the planning process, peace agreements need to be made in a transparent, participatory, inclusive and rational process. The most important element in planning a deal is the essential role of a good facilitator or mediator in overseeing the process. The facilitator or mediator is expected to assist the parties in reaching an agreement by accommodating the interests of the conflicting parties, and at the same time considering legal, social, and environmental aspects.

An effective peace agreement, as the output of process-oriented negotiations between conflicting parties, often requires time, patience, and commitment from each party. As with the requirements that must be met by the facilitator or mediator, an effective peace agreement must also pay attention to and accommodate the interests of the parties so that they can provide long-term benefits and includes a clear implementation plan. Notwithstanding good faith and trust between the parties, a peace agreement must also consider legal, social and environmental aspects to ensure that the solution does not create new problems for the community, companies, government and the environment. These preconditions are important,  so that the agreement can really be implemented and complied with effectively and sustainably.

No less important is the documentation process in agreeing on the substance of the peace agreement, as well as the implementation plan of the agreement. The documentation process aims to create documents that serve as common reference, collective memory, and minutes or paper trails of the agreement. This is necessary to avoid multiple interpretations and minimize the possibility of future conflicts. Documentation is also needed as a basis for legal cooperation in order to bind the commitment of the parties in a legal and enforceable manner.

Peace agreements that are produced through a mediation process can serve as a common reference for the conflicting parties when in the future, something happens and threatens the good relations that have been forged. Developments that threaten the recurrence of conflict can be dealt with by referring to the peace agreement and the parties’ commitment to maintain peaceful relations and cooperation that has been agreed upon.

In its implementation, a peace agreement is necessary as a clear guide on how an agreement will be carried out. A clear agreement and implementation plan will increase the likelihood that the agreement will be implemented. The results of the agreement must also be conveyed to the parties represented by the negotiators and to the Government to be used as a basis for monitoring the progress of the agreement. Monitoring the implementation of the agreement is carried out jointly by the parties, the government and independent parties assigned by the parties, as well as by the public. Joint monitoring also creates opportunities to remind each other of agreed promises.

Challenges that might be encountered in making and implementing peace agreements is the possibility of changes in the broader context between the time of the agreement and of its implementation. These changes are unpredictable and beyond the control of the parties, mediators, and conflict management institutions. To respond to this condition, it is necessary to prepare a special article in the agreement regarding the mechanism and the willingness to review the agreement, if necessary, for example if a force majeure occurs.