The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Mona Juul (Norway):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They echoed the Secretary-General’s observation that the commemorations of the fifth anniversary of the Final Peace Agreement, in which he participated during his visit, celebrated the historic progress taking root while recognizing that formidable challenges remained. They welcomed the way in which the fifth anniversary commemorations led to renewed focus by all parties on the need to consolidate this progress and address these challenges. As Colombia enters an electoral year, they underlined the importance of ensuring the continuous and comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, with the ongoing support of the United Nations system and international community.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the three components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, noting that this would be a crucial year in the delivery of their mandates. In this regard, they took note of the continued advances as detailed in the Secretary-General’s latest report, as well as the preparations undertaken by the UN Verification Mission, working with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) and other stakeholders, in order to implement its mandate related to the verification of the sentences to be issued by the SJP.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern regarding the persistent threats, attacks and killings targeting former FARC-EP [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army] members who laid down their arms as participants in the peace process, as well as community and social leaders, including women and those from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. They noted with concern the high levels of insecurity in certain areas and in this regard, while welcoming increased implementation of security guarantees and continued progress in particular by the National Protection Unit, they called once again for the adoption by the National Commission for Security Guarantees of a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups and emphasized the need to increase the integrated presence of the State in conflict-affected areas. They highlighted the importance of further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”, and of attention to the situation of children in conflict.
The members of the Security Council welcomed continued advances in the socioeconomic reintegration of former combatants. They underlined the importance of expanding access to land and housing, enhancing education and employment opportunities and ensuring sufficient support for the many who are living outside of former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration, to ensure the sustainability of this process. They took note of the briefing by Luz Marina Giraldo as a leader in, and example of, the reintegration process.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the preparations being undertaken for the upcoming congressional and presidential elections and stressed the importance of all actors taking the necessary steps to ensure safe, peaceful and inclusive participation, including the full, equal and meaningful participation of women. They highlighted that this applied particularly to the 16 special transitional electoral districts for peace, established in conflict-affected areas to facilitate the political representation of historically marginalized populations.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, noting the Secretary-General’s observation that reinforced progress in all sections was required to unleash its transformative potential, and underlining the need to accelerate implementation of its ethnic and gender provisions. They welcomed both parties’ continued commitment to this end and encouraged them to continue constructive dialogue, including through the Commission for the Follow-Up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, engaging with entities such as the Special Instance on Women and the Special Instance on Ethnic Affairs. They strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission, working in coordination with the United Nations country team. They reiterated that Colombia’s peace process continued to serve as an example to the world of the possibility of resolving armed conflict through dialogue.