On Peace: Why is Negotiation Important in Building Peace

Amb. Christiana Jolaoso

Ed. 181/ 18.08.2021

In a world riddled with crimes, violence, and tensions, peace can sometimes be as real as our imagination. Due to the world’s propensity towards chaos and unrest, conscious efforts must be made to build and ensure peace. One of the ways to build and ensure peace is negotiation. Negotiation aims at bringing conflicting parties to an agreement. If appropriately executed, it will bring about peace and harmony.

Let’s look at a few ways that negotiation can help promote peace.

It brings clarity to underlying issues and situations

It is easy for things to get muddled up during disputes. At times, the reason for the dispute may be lost. In some other cases, the reason(s) for conflict may not be as severe as the situation’s intensity makes it seem.

A good negotiation resolves the conflict by tackling the conflict or violence’s root cause(s). To effectively settle a dispute, you need to understand the specifics related to it. And an excellent way to be clear on specifics relating to any unpeaceful situation is to put the facts of the case in a story form. Stories are generally chronological, relatable, and easy to remember. Also, they can drive a paradigm shift, which often makes the parties more receptive.

It promotes trust and security

Is it possible to get opposing parties to trust each other? Absolutely! It might be tasking but it is possible.

One of the reasons for the absence of peace in different situations is the lack of trust. In extreme cases, the opposing groups intensely distrust themselves. Therefore, to settle conflicts, there needs to be a measure of trust between the parties involved. That’s where negotiation, particularly those involving mediators, comes in.

First, the parties need to involve a negotiator they both can trust. Then, they need to adopt a process that seems fair to them. There also needs to be an assurance of authority to make decisions and that the decisions will be upheld. Finally, negotiation makes it possible for warring parties to interact with the aim of peacebuilding.

It provides parties with options

On several occasions, negotiations have shown alternatives that adequately satisfy the interest(s) of one or more parties involved. By providing alternatives, the interests of the parties involved can be satisfied without dispute.

Sometimes, the consequences of not taking the peaceful path need to be laid out and explicitly stated to gear up the willingness to let peace reign. This joint-problem-solving tactic has helped resolve issues in and between states and countries.

It proffers lasting solutions

An attribute of negotiation that makes it important to building peace is its propensity to proffer lasting solutions. During negotiation, the interests of the conflicting parties are laid out. By laying out all interests, both conflicting areas and mutual interests are readily identified.

Points of conflict in interests are debated to pinpoint ways to accommodate the opposing sides. Sometimes, compromises have to be made to sufficiently accommodate the conflicting sides.

Here’s the thing…

Negotiation is not only helpful in high stake situations; it is likewise helpful in our everyday lives. Negotiation promotes harmony, which in turn fosters peace. That is why you need to call a disputing party to collaborate on a way forward. Listen to what they have to say, and air your views as calmly as possible. Eventually, you’ll get a win-win situation.

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