Monitoring Ceasefires is getting Harder: Greater Innovation is Required
This essay proposes three practical possibilities, relevant to consider at both design and negotiation phases of a peace process, and during its implementation, to reshape, complement and strengthen, existing practice. These are: • to apply lessons from the evolution of election observation to ceasefire monitoring; • to widen the focus of ceasefire monitoring to other forms of violations; and, • to better specify options for corrective or remedial action within a ceasefire framework. The suggestions offered here are not exhaustive. They are intended to demonstrate that, even though the templates of ceasefires and ceasefire monitoring remain at the mercy of a given conflict’s internal and external political realities, creative additions to the mediator’s arsenal can be made, and could be developed further. Central to these ideas is to look to the citizens beyond the signatories to an agreement to shift the paradigm of conflict. For this to be effective, citizen-led efforts will need support beyond the conventional models. Perhaps paradoxically, the lack of active examples in the practice of many of these ideas suggests there is much latitude for innovation and creative application.