Security Council Press Statement on Colombia
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They stressed the importance of ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement.
The members of the Security Council welcomed President Gustavo Petro’s commitment to peace and to comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement as expressed in his inaugural speech on 7 August. They took note of Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva’s briefing to the Council on President Petro’s plans for the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and his “Total Peace” policy.
They welcomed President Petro’s commitment to seek broader peace through dialogue. In this regard, they commended the announcement on 4 October of the forthcoming resumption of talks between the Government and ELN [the National Liberation Army] and echoed the Secretary-General’s hope that Colombians can demonstrate once again that even the most entrenched conflicts can be resolved through dialogue.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the renewed momentum on consolidating peace including through the constructive dialogue between the parties at the meeting of the Commission for the Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Agreement (CSIVI), the main forum for dialogue between the parties on the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, and at the meeting of the National Commission for Security Guarantees on 2 October. They welcomed the urgent action taken on the “Emergency Protection Plan for human rights defenders and former combatants” and the agreement to purchase land for distribution to peasants as envisioned in the Final Peace Agreement.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the initiation of the terms in Congress of the representatives from the special transitional electoral districts in conflict-affected areas and the participation of the highest number of women legislators in Colombian history, as well as the election of Francia Márquez as Vice-President.
They acknowledged that significant challenges, especially insecurity, continue to jeopardize reintegration. They commended the Government’s commitments on rural reform and underscored the need to address outstanding challenges including on land access, housing, education, employment opportunities and on the security of former combatants. They recalled their concern that violence continues to have a pervasive effect on communities, social leaders and former combatants, with a disproportionate impact on women and on indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. They reiterated the need to accelerate the implementation of the ethnic and gender provisions of the Final Peace Agreement. They emphasized the need to increase the integrated presence of the State in conflict-affected areas and called for further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”.
They acknowledged the importance of securing necessary funds to support peace implementation in the 2023 national budget.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the three components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition. They welcomed the progress made by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) including on the opening of three new cases on war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the former FARC-EP [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army], currently not being investigated within other cases; on war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by public security forces and other state agents in association with paramilitary groups and third parties and on crimes against ethnic communities and their territories. They took note of the intention to open a new case on crimes related to gender-based and sexual violence.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and welcomed the commitment of both parties to this end. They strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, working in coordination with the United Nations country team.