"Peace and reconciliation" is the phrase routinely trotted out by almost all actors in Afghanistan when asked what the end
The first pre-requisite for any genuine Afghan peace process is reshaping the surrender-narrative. The term 'peace' itself must be reclaimed so that it is no longer viewed with suspicion or equated to surrender and weakness. Those who are hostile to it become comfortable with it.
The Taliban will not be defeated militarily. This is an unfortunate reality, but a reality it is. It does not mean that Afghanistan is 'lost'. It means that 'winning the war' can no longer be the guiding principle for policymakers. The collective commitment must now be 'winning the peace'.
The call for an independence referendum for Northern Ireland by Sinn Fein, closely following on from that of Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, is not an opportunistic endeavour. The recent elections in Northern Ireland demonstrated that the political tide is turning.
For those of you that have been following Stormont Crisis No. 3,876 then you're probably aware of just how nauseatingly boring
President Obama has said Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments about Arabs could threaten to "erode the meaning
2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire which triggered the Northern-Ireland 'Peace Process'. This marked the end of a vicious thirty-year conflict known as 'The Troubles'; the ethno-nationalist conflict which set those who wanted to see Northern Ireland remain a part of the United Kingdom against those who wanted to see it integrated into a 'United Ireland'.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
The Northern Ireland peace process is fraying at the edges. That is if you can call cultural and religious divisions and social hostilities "the edges" when they feed so powerfully the persistence of political problems at the centre.
After a long break, a new round of talks has started again in Cyprus. Both communities are busy preparing their negotiation teams; their politicians and leaders are discussing their shared views and remaining differences; and external stakeholders are looking on with very visible interest...