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Conflict Resolution Program

Our Goal

The Carter Center works to build sustainable peace in emerging democracies and to prevent and resolve conflicts.

Where We Work

The Center has conflict resolution efforts underway in:

  • Israel-Palestine, where we support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We encourage reconciliation between Palestinian factions and promote comprehensive peace in the region.
  • Mali, where the Center serves as the Independent Observer of the 2015 Peace Agreement, reporting on the progress of the implementation of agreement.
  • Preventing Violent Extremism, where we aim to combat and prevent the rise of violent extremism and Islamophobia by working with religious and community leaders in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the United States.
  • Sudan, where the Center develops local capacity to mitigate and resolve conflict in areas of the country most impacted by neglected tropical diseases and continues to explore other contributions during a time of political transition.
  • Syria, where we support a political solution to the catastrophic war by exploring governance and constitutional reform options, and where we have initiated a conflict mapping project that analyzes the unprecedented volume of citizen-generated information about the conflict to better inform peacebuilding efforts.

Monitoring and Mediating Conflicts

Program staff and interns monitor world events and armed conflicts to better understand the histories, underlying causes, primary actors, conflict drivers, and dynamics on the ground, as well as efforts being made to resolve these disputes. The Center intervenes when no current avenues for mediation exist or if value can be added to existing efforts. Conflict Resolution Program staff pave the way through ground-level contacts, and President Carter may travel to the region in question and remain in close touch with key leaders. In addition to high-level interventions, The Carter Center may work with local communities on specific conflict issues.

Implementing Peace Agreements and Peacebuilding

An end to fighting does not always mean a conflict has been completely resolved. The process that leads to a peace agreement represents the beginning of an even longer process of peacebuilding and post-conflict reconciliation. All parties must be held accountable for implementing agreements in good faith. Even after a peace agreement is implemented, a conflict's root causes may linger and continue to fester, sometimes even reigniting the conflict. The Center seeks ways to ease tensions, identify and build consensus around shared values, strengthen the rule of law, and bring justice to victims.

Preventing Conflict

While direct negotiation to resolve armed conflict is the program's major focus, it also emphasizes preventing conflict. A series of minor crises can signal or contribute to deteriorating societal and political stability. In such situations, parties in dispute may approach the Center as a neutral third party to facilitate dialogue that can keep tensions from erupting into violent conflict. The Carter Center's conflict monitoring also helps alert Carter Center staff to nascent crises.

Results and Impact 

  • The Carter Center has furthered avenues to peace in Bosnia and HerzegovinaEthiopiaEritreaHaitiIsrael and PalestineKorean PeninsulaLiberia, MaliNepalSouth SudanSudan, Syria, and South American nations.
  • In 1999, President Carter and The Carter Center negotiated the Nairobi Agreement between Sudan and Uganda, in which both sides committed to stop supporting forces against each other's government and agreed to re-establish full diplomatic relations.
  • In 1994, President Carter negotiated terms for the first dialogue in 40 years between the United States and North Korea.
  • President Carter; Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga.; and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell successfully negotiated the departure of Haiti's military leaders in 1994, paving the way for the restoration of Jean-Bertrande Aristide as president.
  • The Carter Center advised negotiations for the 2003 Geneva Accord, an informal draft agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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