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Published On: Fri, Dec 1st, 2017

Security Council hails achievements one year after signing of Colombia’s peace accord

nsnbc : In a press statement, the UN Security Council circulated a document containing the Agreement for Ending the Conflict and building a lasting peace between the Government and FARC-EP, while congratulating the parties “for the remarkable achievements of the peace process.”

juan-manuel-santos_londono-timoshenko_sep-26_cartagena_colombia_farcThe Council praised the fact that the peace accord, signed in December 2016, has effectively ended most of the longest-lasting civil war in the Western Hemisphere. The peace accord effectively ended 52 years of war between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP).

The FARC has been transformed into a legal non-armed political party. The State is currently negotiating a peace accord with the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN), and there have been attempts from the remaining right-wing paramilitaries to also be covered by a peace agreement and the transitional justice system established under the peace accord.

The peace accord has been the culmination of four years of official peace talks hosted in the Cuban capital Havana. The peace accord covers issues such as political participation, land rights, illicit drugs, victims, the need for truth, documentation of the conflict and fact finding, victim’s rights, the principle of forgiveness based on guarantees of non-repetition, and other initiatives encompassed by the transitional justice system.

paz_peace_colombia_farc_nov-2016The Security Council stated that “The members of the Security Council applauded the leadership and commitment of the parties to implementing the agreement over the past 12 months, which has brought to an end over 50 years of conflict.” The Council members also welcomed the successful completion of the FARC-EP”s laying down of arms to UN monitors in August, calling it “a major milestone in the transition between war and peace.”

“Colombia’s peace process has sparked high hopes and expectations around the world and continues to provide inspiration for those seeking to end conflicts elsewhere,” the statement continued. It is a statement that was read with some amusement by persons in Europe who helped facilitate the process while risking to be charged with “supporting a terrorist organization”, but that’s a small price to pay for peace.

Courtesy the Office of the Ombudsman. (archives)

Courtesy the Office of the Ombudsman. (archives)

The statement also reiterated the Council’s “full support to the parties as they seek to turn the end of the conflict into a stable and lasting peace by working to fully implement the peace agreement beyond the laying down of arms.”

Additionally, the Security Council members welcomed the report of the visit to Colombia in November by the Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffery Feltman, and noted his statement in Bogota on November, 15, 2017, particularly regarding the importance of advancing the reincorporation of former FARC-EP combatants into civilian life with a comprehensive strategy and concrete action plans and resources to enable success.

The statement also noted “the importance of addressing the security situation in the former conflict zones, following some attacks, including on community leaders, human rights defenders and former FARC combatants, by increasing State presence and governance to secure a lasting peace.”

In this regard, the Council members urged the parties, with the support of the relevant civilian state institutions and security forces, “to redouble efforts to accelerate progress in implementation over the coming weeks and months, in accordance with the provisions set out in the peace agreement, including with respect to enacting the necessary legislation.”

FARC now a political party

FARC now a political party

According to the statement, they further underlined the importance of “upholding the political participation of the FARC-EP now that they have laid down their arms, in accordance with the peace agreement” and “the international community remaining closely engaged to continue to support and encourage Colombia’s work to implement the peace agreement.”

The Council members recalled resolutions 2366 (2017) and 2377 (2017), which established and mandated the UN Verification Mission to verify implementation by the parties of the process of political, economic and social reincorporation of the FARC-EP and the implementation of personal and collective security guarantees.

They “appreciated the efforts of the Verification Mission to provide support and to encourage progress” and looked forward 26 December when the Secretary-General would submit the first 90-day report on its activities.

A/N & CH/L – nsnbc 01.12.2017

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