Peace Workshop - International Symposium

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th May 2021

French National Assembly (by videoconference)

In partnership with:
“Exiting Violence” the National Research Agency's project
Violence: An International Journal
The international network La Bande Passante

(voir la version française)


Making peace without the enemy is like making war without the enemy: it does not exist.

Crises, but also disagreements and conflicts when they are not handled democratically, in a way that takes the form of debates and negotiations between actors, produce, among other consequences, political and geopolitical violence. This is a major problem, which concerns many states in the world as well as the international community.

Today, can one still engage in dialogue with one's enemy in order to resolve a conflict? Is it still possible to make peace?

In the past, the Western and Soviet blocs could talk to each other, negotiate and find geostrategic compromises, and contain the cycle of violence. But today, can we still resolve, prevent, reduce and mitigate political and geopolitical violence?

Getting around the table with one's enemy seems more difficult than ever.

Such issues can only exceptionally mobilize directly, without mediation, the actors involved in the war or armed struggle.

To succeed in bringing them together around a table to go towards dialogue and transitional justice and to abandon the path of weapons is a considerable challenge that requires sometimes colossal efforts.

It does require singular people, or even institutions, that are both neutral and committed to peace, capable of establishing trust, first with the actors concerned, but also between them.

It requires the ability to mobilize all kinds of resources, networks, friendships, political contacts at the highest level, and to guarantee the security of negotiators within the peace process.

It requires skills, culture and intelligence to enter into complex issues whose historical depth may resist analysis. It requires actors from all sides of the conflict.

For all these reasons, the lessons of past and current peace negotiations are a rich resource and a valuable advantage for better resolving the conflicts of today and tomorrow.

These first "peace workshops" will be devoted to two main issues:

  1. In the light of the cross-experience of different resolved or ongoing conflicts, with their mistakes and successes, how are the preliminaries, then the debates and negotiations in such processes organized to have any chance of success? What lessons can be learned from past experiences, with their mistakes and successes?
  2. Who are the indispensable mediators, their supporters, their allies, their adversaries as well? What status and what protection should negotiators be guaranteed?

To reflect on these questions, the “peace workshops” will mobilize various figures in mediation and negotiation, actors, as well as international researchers and experts.


Tuesday 25th May 2021


Sébastien Nadot
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

Michel Wieviorka
Sociologist, co-director of Violence: An International Journal.

Thomas Lacoste
Filmmaker, founder of the international network La Bande Passante.


Pierre Haski
Journalist, geopolitical specialist, President of Reporters Without Borders.

Round Table n°1 Israel-Palestine

Focus of the discussion:

  1. What analyses can be drawn from the series of failed negotiations?
  2. What options are there for breaking the deadlock in this conflict today?


Sébastien Nadot
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission.


Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
Member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Avraham Burg
Former president of the Knesset.

Charles Enderlin

Hagit Ofran
Director of Peace Now's Settlement Watch team.

Round Table n°2 Basque Country

Focus of the discussion:

  1. The resolution of the conflict and the protection of the negotiators
  2. A historic process due to its unilaterality and the need, today, for the involvement of both the French and Spanish states in the negotiation about the consequences of the conflict


Frédérique Espagnac
Member of the French Senate, involved in the Basque conflict resolution process.


Brian Currin
Lawyer, expert in conflict resolution, founder of the National Directorate of Lawyers for Human Rights, founding member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, co-president of Northern Ireland’s Commission for the Review of Sentences, founder of the International Contact Group for the Basque Country.

Véronique Dudouet
Research director and expert in conflict resolution at the Berghof Foundation (Germany), former fellow of the US Institute of Peace, accompanied and advised civil society in the resolution of the Basque conflict.

Caroline Guibet Lafaye
Philosopher and sociologist, research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, member of the Emile Durkheim Center where she leads the European research programme on Political engagement and extra-parliamentary actions, expert on the Basque conflict.

Josu Urrutikoetxea
Historic activist of ETA, former member of the Basque autonomous community’s parliament, key actor of Basque Country’s peace negotiations.

Judyta Wasowska
Regional Director for Latin America at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), based in Geneva, she has followed for HD Centre the whole process of exit from the conflict in the Basque Country, former personal assistant to the Executive Director of the HD Centre and, before that, senior secretary to the UNHCR Regional Representative in Caracas and the assistant high commissioner headquarters in Geneva.

Round Table n°3 Colombia

See spanish version

Focus of the discussion:

  1. How to move, through negotiation, from an armed actor to a strictly political actor?
  2. How can a peace agreement be guaranteed in the event of a political change in the head of state?


Jean-Michel Clément
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission, lawyer.


Sergio Jaramillo Caro
Philosopher, diplomat, Government of Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace (2012- 2016), former Vice-minister of Defence, former executive director of the Foundation Ideas for the Peace, senior advisor at the European Institute of Peace.

Yvon Le Bot
Sociologist, director emeritus at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, former UN consultant for peacekeeping operations and human rights safeguarding programmes in Latin America, head of the programme “Exiting Violence” of the French National Research Agency and the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme.

Tanja Nijmeijer
Former negotiator in the Havana peace process (2012-2016), and FARC ex-combatant.

Eduardo Pizarro
Professor at National University of Colombia; he served as Presiding Member of the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation of Colombia; member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court.

Maria Emma Wills
Adjunct Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota), former advisor to the Director of the Colombian National Center for Historical Memory, involved in the peace process in Colombia, former Chair of the Political Science Department at Universidad de los Andes.

Wednesday 26th May 2021

Round Table n°4 Democratic Republic of Congo

Focus of the discussion:

  1. The democratic necessity
  2. Geopolitics of Transitional Justice in Central and West Africa


Frédérique Dumas
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission.


Pr. Luc Henkinbrant
Former United Nations official, initiator of the Mapping Report, expert in transitional justice.

Roger K. Koudé
Holder of the UNESCO Chair “Memories, Cultures and Interculturality”, professor of international law at the Human Rights Institute of Lyon, Catholic University of Lyon.

Dr. Denis Mukwege
Doctor, director of the Hospital of Panzi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2018.

As a complement to this roundtable, we provide two links, one to a reader's digest of the Mapping report and the other to the full version:
Mapping Exercise - Reader's digest
Mapping Final Report

Round Table n°5 Northern Ireland

Focus of the discussion:

  1. A peace process driven by a well understood bilateralism
  2. The contribution of the international community: USA, South Africa and European Union
  3. Resistance of the peace process to the tensions generated by the Brexit


Paul Molac
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Laws Commission, president of the France-Ireland Parliamentary Friendship Group.


Gerry Adams
Historic leader of Sinn Féin, honorary member of the British Parliament and the Northern Ireland’s Assembly, former political prisoner, negotiator and signatory of the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

Harold Good
Reverend in Northern Ireland, president of the Methodist Church of Ireland, played a key role in Northern Ireland’s peace and supervised IRA’s and ETA’s disarmament, World Methodist Peace Award laureate.

Monica McWilliams
Academic researcher, expert in transitional justice, cofounder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party, signatory of the peace negotiations of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (2005-2011), and current member of the International Reporting Commission for the disbandment of paramilitary groups.

Jonathan Powell
British diplomat, Prime minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, British government’s chief negotiator in Northern Ireland (1997-2007), president and CEO of the NGO Inter Mediate.

Concluding Round Table

Focus of the discussion:

  1. What lessons can be drawn from these experiences, with their mistakes and successes?
  2. Who are the indispensable mediators, their supporters, their allies and their adversaries?
  3. What status and protection should negotiators be guaranteed?


Sébastien Nadot
Member of the French National Assembly, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission.

Michel Wieviorka
Sociologist, co-director of Violence: An International Journal.


Monique Chemillier-Gendreau
Professor emeritus of public law and political science at the University Paris-Diderot, expert in international law, with an important practice with international courts and pleading, especially before the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, Rationalist Union Prize laureate.

Jonathan Cohen
Executive director of the peacebuilding NGO Conciliation Resources (UK), former deputy director of the Foundation on Inter-Ethnic Relations (The Hague), Chair of the Steering Committee of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office.

Michael Keating
Executive director of the European Institute of Peace (Brussels), former UN General Secretary’s special representative and head of the assistance mission in Somalia, former associate director at Chatham House, former executive director of the Africa Progress Panel.

Philippe Texier
Magistrate, Honorary Advisor to the Court of Cassation, President of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, member of the International Commission of Jurists and of the Sponsoring Committee of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, member and Honorary Chairman of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Director of the Human Rights Division of the UN mission in El Salvador, former Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights for Haiti, involved in the peace process in the Basque Country, Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Liv Tørres
Director of Pathfinders for Peaceful programme, Just and Inclusive Societies at the New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, she was executive director of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo (Norway) and general secretary of the humanitarian NGO Norwegian People's Aid.

Teresa Whitfield
Director of the Policy and Mediation Division at the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs of the United Nations, she was visiting researcher at the New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council, principal advisor of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue based in Geneva, principal advisor of the president of the International Crisis Group, and also specialist in the Basque Country and Salvador conflicts.

William Zartman
Political scientist, professor emeritus at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University), holder of the Jacob Blaustein Chair in International Organizations and Conflict Resolution.

Simultaneous translation: English-French (and Spanish for the round table Colombia)