Security Council authorizes UN mission to verify ceasefire in Colombia

from UN Mission in Colombia
Published on 31 Oct 2016 View Original

New York/Bogotá - The United Nations Security Council sent a letter to the Secretary General today giving the green light to the UN Mission in Colombia to verify the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, following a request from the the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP).

"We welcome the Security Council members’ unanimous support to the parties’ decision to maintain a bilateral and definitive ceasefire—and to the UN Mission’s work," said the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and head of the UN Mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault.

"This is also a boost to Colombia’s peace process and a national consensus on a final peace agreement, to be reached as soon as possible," he added.

With the backing of the Security Council, the UN Mission will roll out all functions previously approved in resolution 2261 of 25 January 2106, except those related to the laying down of arms, which will be postponed until the successful conclusion of the political dialogue and the adoption of a new Final Agreement.

UN Mission functions include organizing operational aspects of the joint ceasefire Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, formed by the Government of Colombia, FARC-EP and coordinated by the UN Mission. It also entails visiting FARC-EP camps and Public Force units to ensure compliance with the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. The UN Mission will also liaise with local populations to ensure that their rights are being respected.

The SRSG and UN Mission Chief stressed that the plebiscite results strengthened a national consensus around not returning to violence.

"The Mission seeks to promote public confidence that, however complex the ongoing political dialogue may be, a point of no return has been reached in the search for peace in Colombia," Jean Arnault said.

Carolina Azevedo, Chief of Communications, UN Mission in Colombia, (link sends e-mail).