Security Council Press Statement on Colombia
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Tarek Ladeb (Tunisia):
The Members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia, underlining the important achievements made in four years since the signing of the Final Peace Agreement while recognizing that significant challenges remained. They reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia, as it moves into a milestone fifth year of peacebuilding, to consolidate progress towards the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, and welcomed both parties’ continued commitment to this end. They considered that the priority areas for implementation outlined by the Secretary-General in his latest report provided a valuable framework for making decisive progress over the year ahead. They strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission, working in coordination with the country team.
The Members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the three components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, welcomed the continued progress in fulfilment of their mandates which are integral to the peace process, and stressed the need to fully respect their independence and autonomy. They encouraged all parties to fulfil their responsibilities to the victims of the conflict by contributing fully to the truth and supporting the critical work of the three components. They welcomed the recent request by the Government of Colombia for the Verification Mission to support the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in verifying implementation of its sentences, and undertook to give this prompt consideration.
The Members of the Security Council, while recognizing the significant nationwide decrease in violence compared to previous decades as highlighted in the Secretary-General’s 28 December 2020 report, reiterated their deep concern regarding the persistent threats, attacks and killings targeting community and social leaders, including women leaders and those from indigenous and Afro‑Colombian communities, as well as those targeting former FARC-EP [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army] members who laid down their arms as participants in the peace process, underlined that this remained the greatest threat to implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, and stressed that further progress remained necessary in implementing the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders” and enhancing the security of all the above-mentioned groups. They noted that ongoing violence in several departments was occurring in the context of limited State presence, illicit economies and the presence of illegal armed groups, and that tackling it required simultaneous progress across multiple fronts. In this regard, they stressed the need to ensure adequate staffing of the Specialized Sub-Directorate for Security and Protection of the National Protection Unit, as well as equal access to protection schemes by women former combatants, and reiterated their appeal to all actors to heed the early warnings issued by the Ombudsman’s Office. They encouraged reinforced support for the Special Investigations Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, to ensure further progress in tackling impunity and bringing perpetrators to justice, and they once again urged the National Commission on Security Guarantees to promptly adopt a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups, as developed with civil society.
The Members of the Security Council welcomed President Duque’s meeting with former combatants, and expressed their hope that the commitments made on security and reintegration, including accelerating the purchase of land for housing and productive projects, would help address existing concerns. They underlined the need for increased institutional attention to former combatants residing outside the former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration, including in informal reintegration areas.
The Members of the Security Council recognized the progress in implementation of the development programmes with a territorial focus, and encouraged further progress in implementation of the Comprehensive Security and Protection Programme for Communities and Organizations in the Territories. They reiterated the importance of implementing all aspects of the Final Peace Agreement, including rural reform, political participation, the gender provisions, and countering illicit drugs including crop substitution programmes. They encouraged continued constructive dialogue between the parties to overcome challenges, including through more robust use of mechanisms established for this purpose, particularly the Commission for the Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Agreement. They noted that comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement would support Colombia’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
The Members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences following the death of His Excellency Carlos Holmes Trujillo García, remembering with appreciation his work with the Security Council when Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia.