“I urge the cessation of armed activities and the resumption of a serious and constructive dialogue”: The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres upon finalizing his visit to Colombia.
Bogotá, 14 January, 2018. Before concluding a two-day visit to Colombia, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres called upon the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish) to “resume efforts to agree on a new and stronger ceasefire aimed at preventing a return to conflict, while securing the humanitarian achievements of the past three months.”
The Secretary-General instructed his Special Representative in Colombia, Jean Arnault to “take all the necessary actions to facilitate the parties' return to the negotiating table”, and reaffirmed “the United Nations' commitment to a just solution to the conflict between the parties, for the benefit of all members of society.”
During a press briefing at the end of his visit, the Secretary-General expressed concern “regarding the violent events of recent days, and the possible escalation of clashes, which would dangerously undermine the political process and the situation of communities in the conflict-affected areas.”
On Sunday, the Secretary-General visited the Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration in Buenavista, in the municipality of Mesetas, Department of Meta, to acquaint himself directly with the implementation of the Peace Agreement and meet members of the community.
“What we are witnessing is an extraordinary transformation, and I am filled with great hope for the future and peace in Colombia." The Secretary-General added, "moreover, what I see leads me to increase the United Nations’ commitment to fully support the people of Colombia in this historic moment in their lives.”
The visit was attended by the High Counsel for Post conflict, Rafael Pardo, the High Commissioner for Peace, Rodrigo Rivera, the Governor of Meta, Marcela Amaya and the Mayor of Mesetas, Ferney Caicedo, as well as members of the community in Mesetas.
During his visit, the Secretary-General met with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and senior members of the cabinet. He also met with representatives of FARC, the Catholic Church, and with members of the UN Verification Mission and the United Nations System in the country.