Security Council Press Statement on Colombia
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Barbara Woodward (United Kingdom):
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 continued momentum on the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement including through the approval by the Congress of Colombia of the National Development Plan which includes approval of an “Investment Plan for Peace”. They looked forward to further progress including the strengthening of a decision-making entity in charge of implementation within the presidency.
The members of the Security Council commended progress on the rural reform chapter with regard to the purchase and formalization of land. They encouraged the Government of Colombia to transfer land that has been made available for rural reform purposes to its intended beneficiaries including victims and rural women, as soon as possible. They looked forward to further progress on the rural reform chapter including on land access and housing, as well as education and employment opportunities.
The members of the Security Council welcomed congressional approval of measures to address violence against women in politics while improving their participation in decision-making processes and the peace process. However, they expressed concern at continued conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls and stressed the need to further implement the gender provisions of the Final Peace Agreement. They looked forward to the publication of Colombia’s first National Action Plan for the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition and looked ahead to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) issuing its first sentences. They expressed solidarity with SJP in light of recent threats against magistrates and officials.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their strong concern over the continued threats and violence faced by former combatants and social leaders, and that conflict related violence continues to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls and on indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. 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”. Members of the Security Council also expressed their concern at violations and abuses against children, including those involving the use of violence and the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict. In the context of regional elections in October, they urged the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure fair and safe political participation, including by former combatants as a key element of their transition to civilian life. They also emphasized the importance of strengthening the former combatants’ reintegration process, including through the approval of a sustainability strategy for collective projects and investment in a sustainability fund for the improvement of livelihoods.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the Government of Colombia’s efforts to seek broader peace through dialogue and through the continued comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. They recognized efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission and the good offices of the Special Representative to support dialogue between the parties in reaching ceasefire agreements. They encouraged all participants in the peace negotiations to negotiate in good faith with the shared objective of establishing protocols to end violence and further alleviate the suffering of the civilian population. They welcomed the role of guarantor countries in the talks between the Government and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). They noted positively the signing of the Second Cuba Agreement on 9 June between the Government and ELN. In this context, they acknowledged the Secretary-General’s letter of 13 June that set out proposals for a United Nations role in the verification and monitoring of ceasefire agreements and they committed to consider these recommendations.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, as the primary pillar to secure broad and lasting peace and stability in Colombia, and welcomed the continued commitment of both parties to this end. They strongly supported the complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, working in coordination with the United Nations country team.