Transitioning from Colombias long war

Discussion Meeting
HE Néstor Osorio Londoño, Colombia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Dr Samir Puri, Lecturer, King’s College London; author of upcoming Adelphi book Fighting and Negotiating with Armed Groups
Antônio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development, IISS
Gwen Burnyeat, Wolfson Scholar, PhD Student, University College London
Arundel House, London
Wednesday 27 July 2016, 12–1.30PM BST

Photo by Presidencia de la República Mexicana

The peace process between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Government of Colombia is entering its final stages. A successful outcome will bring to an end the long-running insurgency that has been responsible for substantial social and economic dislocation. However, implementing the terms of the process will present major political, security and development challenges, crucially including the persistence of armed groups and conflict economies. The panel will examine the final stages of the peace process and consider the strategies required to deal with the challenges of rebuilding peace in the region.


HE Néstor Osorio Londoño has been the Colombian Ambassador to the UK since February 2014. Prior to this post, he was Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, having been elected President of the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) and representing Colombia in the Security Council. Ambassador Osorio served two terms as Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and was the first Permanent Representative of Colombia to the World Trade Organization between 1994 and 1999.

Dr Samir Puri is a lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London. He is the author of the Adelphi book Fighting and Negotiating with Armed Groups: the Difficulty of Securing Strategic Outcomes, released by the IISS in 2016. He previously worked for the UK Foreign Office (2009-15), where his assignments included counterterrorism strategy and policy support to a number of peace processes.

Antônio Sampaio is Research Associate for Security and Development at the IISS, where he examines the intersection of urban armed violence and governance. He has extensively studied Latin American responses to non-state armed groups in urban peripheries, as well as the dynamics of criminal violence and shadow economies in Latin America. His analysis has been featured in media outlets such as Foreign Policy, Financial Times, BBC World Service, RCN (Colombia), El Universal (Mexico) and O Globo (Brazil).

Gwen Burnyeat is an anthropologist and writer based in Colombia and the UK. She has lectured in Political Anthropology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She has also worked in Colombia with the International Center for Transitional Justice and with Peace Brigades International. Burnyeat recently produced the documentary ‘Chocolate of Peace’, on a Colombian ‘peace community’. As of September 2016, she will be a Wolfson Scholar reading for a PhD at UCL.

This event will be chaired by Nigel Inkster, IISS Director of Future Conflict and Cyber Security. It will take place in the fourth-floor Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.

Please join us for tea and coffee from 11.30am.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Sheena Patel.


*All first time visitors to Arundel House are required to provide photographic ID (Passport, European ID card or Driver’s Licence) and have their photograph taken upon arrival. This will be stored on our security system to streamline access on future visits. If you would prefer that your details are not stored, please inform reception as you exit the building. Photographic ID will be required again on your next visit to IISS.

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