Colombia

Press release on the installation of the National Commission of Security Guarantees

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UN MISSION & UN COUNTRY TEAM JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Bogotá February 24, 2017 - The United Nations Mission and the UN Country Team in Colombia welcome the installation of the National Security Guarantees Commission held yesterday in the city of Popayán, in the southwestern department of Cauca. The UN highlights the Commission’s openness to inviting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to its sessions, as well as representatives of political parties and movements and other specialized national and international organizations.

The UN highlights the relevance of this Commission at the highest level, headed by President Juan Manuel Santos, which emerged within the framework of the Final Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP. Its mandate includes the design and monitoring of public and criminal policy aimed at the dismantling of any organization or conduct that threatens the implementation of the agreements and the construction of peace.

Through its personnel deployed in the conflict-affected areas, the UN has taken careful note of the concerns of communities, local authorities and national institutions worried about the continuation of acts of violence against social and community leaders as well as human rights defenders. It has also noted the concern that in some regions the presence of new armed actors occurs while the members of the FARC-EP are grouped in the zones [where the laying down of arms will take place].

The liaison between civil society organizations and state entities, in spaces such as the Commission which was installed yesterday, is a successful step to meet security and protection challenges.

Colombian society aspires to close the chapter of violence in the history of its country. The UN believes that the Commission's commitment to face without delay the different causes of violence will give greater legitimacy to the necessary deployment of the State in the affected territories allowing the most conflict-affected communities to finally enjoy the dividends of peace and development.