Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 25th, 2020

How to Ensure the Legitimacy of a Peace Agreement

Legitimacy of a peace agreement is one of the most important issues of any peace process. If an agreement is not considered legitimate by the citizens, such agreement will not last; And sooner or later the warring parties will resume the war again. Based on the findings of conflict studies the involvement of those outside the combatant groups imbued the negotiation of new political arrangements with greater legitimacy. It is arguable that if a process is seen as legitimate, then the outcomes are likely to be treated as such. Moreover, because each of these processes enable wider participation in general, there will be more opportunities for traditionally marginalized groups to have a voice.
According to these studies women and indigenous communities in particular are able to raise their political voice during the negotiations –creating a benchmark that carried forward into the new post-settlement political system.
Each process also manages to take the political debate out of the capital and into spaces accessible to ordinary people. In addition to the instrumental dimension of influencing decisions, this has an important symbolic value: people fell that they are being included in politics, often for the first time, and were able to take part in shaping their country’s future.
Peace building case studies indicate that participatory mechanisms succeed in widening the range of issues addressed in the agenda, thereby offering a greater opportunity to address substantive grievances and explore a wider range of possible solutions. This also helps to reflect the scope of public concerns and generally contributed a greater depth to the debate. Thus the agreements tend to be better at addressing the causes of conflict and they have a broad legitimacy that makes them more sustainable.
Even in places where there are implementation difficulties, it is impossible to ignore the agreement altogether. At the very least, the agreements remain alive in public political discourse as aspirational guidelines and have provided an important base line for the political agendas of pro-agreement activists.
Finally, each process can be seen to have emerged from the unique combination of
cultural resources, political traditions and imaginative leadership of its particular context.
The challenge for all of peace building efforts has been to sustain the culture of inclusion they stimulated, to institutionalize broad participation in the country’s political systems and structures and to further embed the democratic values they promoted.
It seems that where a peace process enables broad-based participation and public
debate, intensely conflictual issues can be reclaimed as the normal subjects of political dialogue, problem-solving and constructive action. They help to underscore that differences can be addressed through political processes instead of outside the system through illegal / violent means. The peace process therefore has the potential to be a defining moment in the transition from one political order to the next and can create movement toward a more participatory and democratic political system and society.
Legitimacy of any peace accord is one of the main issues of the peace process. According to the findings of peace studies, the level of public participation identifies the level of the legitimacy of a peace agreement. In terms of Intra-Afghan peace talks, the delegation of Afghanistan government has ensured the inclusion of the representatives of all walks of the society while the delegation of the Taliban only represents one ethnic group; This shows that do not consider the Afghan conflict as national issue but consider it as an ethnic issue. As a result, it is the duty of all Afghans to support the Afghan government in order to reach a sustainable peace agreement.