Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Colombia (S/2017/801)
1. The present report is the final report on the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Colombia, which concludes on 25 September 2017. In addition to covering major developments during the final 90-day reporting period, from 24 June to 25 September, it takes stock of the activities carried out throughout the course of the Mission’s mandate. It also covers provisional work undertaken by the Mission to prepare the ground for the future Verification Mission, as requested by the Council in its resolution 2366 (2017).
II. Major developments
2. The reporting period was marked, above all, by the culmination of the ceasefire, the cessation of hostilities and the process for the laying down of arms that has unfolded since the signing of the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace, 10 months earlier, in November 2016, and the transformation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army (FARC-EP) from a military organization into a new political party. The period also witnessed the start of the reintegration phase for former members of the FARC-EP.
3. The transformation of the FARC-EP into the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force signifies the transition of the FARC-EP into civilian life. More than 1,200 FARC-EP delegates took part in the founding congress, which was held in Bogota from 27 August to 1 September. The leader of FARC-EP, Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timoleón Jiménez, was named head of the new party, and a national political council of 15 members was elected. The members expressed their readiness, in the context of the presidential elections to be held in 2018, to join a coalition government that would support the implementation of the Final Agreement.
4. Another step towards the reintegration of FARC-EP was taken on 15 August 2017 when the group submitted a final inventory of its property and assets, as required in the Final Agreement. On 24 August, the Government established a transitional interministerial commission to review the inventory and oversee its management. Members of the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force will be appointed to ensure the handover of the material listed in the inventory, which, under the Final Agreement, is to be used for reparations for victims of the armed conflict.
Major legislation approved under “fast track” procedures
5. By the end of the reporting period, three important peace implementation laws had been adopted by Congress, one of which is pending reconciliation, and seven draft laws were pending consideration. The laws were passed under the so-called “fast track” procedures that allow for expedited congressional approval and will expire at the end of 2017. On 9 August, Congress adopted legislation to establish a subdirectorate of the National Protection Unit to provide security to members of the former FARC-EP and its successor political party under a mixed protection scheme with the national police. On 15 August, Congress adopted reforms to the National Royalty System, which provide for the earmarking of seven per cent of all royalties from natural resource concessions collected by municipal governments to support the implementation of the Final Agreement over the next 20 years. Finally, on 28 August, the Chamber of Representatives adopted legislation on the monopoly of force, including a constitutional prohibition of illegal armed civilian groups of any type. The law will now be reconciled with a version previously adopted by the Senate.
6. Other draft laws pending in Congress have implications for the legislative and presidential elections of 2018, including a draft law on political reform and a draft law regulating the creation of 16 special transitory peace electoral districts for social and civic representatives in areas affected by the conflict.
7. The statutory law establishing a special jurisdiction for peace to address crimes committed during the armed conflict is currently under consideration. On 29 August, the Attorney General publicly expressed concern that, as a result of delays, the work of that jurisdiction, which is to play a part in the reintegration process, may not begin until April or May 2018.
8. Finally, four pieces of legislation related to various dimensions of rural development and land tenure are pending consideration by Congress. These include legislation on a multipurpose land registry for rural areas, access to land within forest reserves, the creation of a national system for agricultural and fishery innovation and the regulation of land development a public programme supporting land productivity and infrastructure.
9. On 10 July, the President issued the last of three decrees granting amnesty to a total of 6,005 FARC-EP members who had completed the laying down of arms and been accredited by the Colombian Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.