04 December 2018, New York, USA – In partnership with the Permanent Mission of Colombia and the participation of former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, the Permanent Mission of Norway, and the European Union, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) hosted a screening of the documentary A Call for Peace in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in the United Nations Headquarters, New York. A Call for Peace is a documentary that studies the Colombian peace process as a vehicle to demonstrate the challenging task of calling for and working towards unity. Through a series of in-depth interviews with leading global peace negotiators, Foreign Ministers and world-renowned diplomats, the documentary uncovers the importance of human respect and the relevance of open dialogue. It further explains state of the art negotiation techniques and strategies, without requiring the presence of military means which are not relevant to the situation at hand, and would be otherwise detrimental to the objective.
The documentary unravels many intriguing nuances of multilateral negotiations and the role of international mediators on behalf of the UN. The documentary also reveals a previously unseen view into the work of notable peace-builders that are responsible for transforming conflicts around the world. The documentary seeks to answer a number of questions, such as “How are challenging conflicts settled, and peace agreements achieved?” and “How does the international community collaborate to find a way to end violence, and create a path toward peace and justice?”
The event’s Master of Ceremony Ms. Patricia Scott opened to event by welcoming the attending guests. She then passed the floor to the current President of the General Assembly H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, who spoke on international peace and human rights, two concepts that are integral to the work of the United Nations. Next to speak was the former President of Colombia H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, who took the initiative for negotiations between the government and the FARC guerillas, which ultimately led to a ceasefire being agreed in June 2016. His efforts to establish peace in Colombia won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. After his speech came the screening of A Call for Peace, which was warmly received by those in attendance.
The event ended with a panel discussion including Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, Negotiation Advisor and Mediator Mr. William Ury, Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments Mr. Bernard Arson, and both the creators of the documentary Ms. Melodie Carli and Mr. Juan Carlos Borrero. The panel was moderated by the Director of the Outreach Division in the United Nations Mr. Maher Nasser. The discussion touched on a range of topics, such as the evolution of the peace process in Colombia, and how the documentary came to be. After the panel, attendees were invited to an event hosted at the Express Bar at the United Nations, where they had the chance to interact and mingle with those involved in the Colombian peace process and the creators of the documentary. Based on the interviews and materials in the documentary, UNITAR will be launching an e-learning course on “Strengthening Preventive Diplomacy and Multilateral Negotiation” by mid-2019.
Photo 1: Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments Mr. Bernard Aronson, Documentary Creator Ms. Melodie Carli, Former President of Colombia H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, Conflict Negotiation Adviser and Mediator Mr. William Ury, and Documentary Creator Mr. Juan Carlos Borrero speaking during the panel discussion at the event. Photo Credits: UNITAR
Photo 2: Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments Mr. Bernard Aronson, Former President of Colombia H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, and President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés at the event. Photo Credits: UNITAR
Photo 3: Attendents, including Head of UNITAR New York Office Mr. Marco Suazo, applauding after the screening of the documentary. Photo Credits: UNITAR