Civilians will be given an opportunity to engage in the peace negotiations between the FARC guerrilla group and the Colombian government which kick off in Norway next week, said the co-president of Colombia’s peace commission.

According to Joaquin Camelo there will be 16 workshops held between the October 24 and November 22, in eight regions of the country for different social actors to discuss and present proposals.

International human rights groups have been advocating the involvement of civil society since the announcement of the talks in August, asserting that for a true and lasting peace the victims have to play a part in the construction of an agreement.

“Society should participate in the great struggle for the sake of constructing the post-conflict, which is another great challenge that is up for discussion,” said the peace commissioner, adding that the proposed agenda of civilian participation will enrich and contribute to the fundamental agreement which will hopefully be drawn up between the government and the FARC.

Camelo said that the themes of development and agriculture, along with solutions to problems like illegal drugs and political participation will be discussed at the workshops.

Colombian government and rebel representatives are set to leave for Norway’s capital Oslo where they will seek a negotiated end to the country’s nearly half-a-century armed conflict.

Source: Colombia Reports