“Peace is the only answer”: António Guterres
Bogotá. 13 January 2018. On the first day of his official visit to Colombia, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, expressed the UN's “solidarity and commitment" to Colombia
The Secretary-General met first with representatives of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, as well as from the UN Country Team, whom he thanked for their support to the Government, the FARC, and to communities at large in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
Later, the Secretary-General held a meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos and representatives from his cabinet.
Peace is the only answer to solve today's problems of poverty, development, inequality and democracy,” stated the Secretary-General in a press briefing, following his meeting with President Santos at Casa de Nariño this afternoon.
“We are fully committed to peace in Colombia. We are fully at your disposal to support what constitutes the most meaningful experience in the world” added the Secretary-General.
On the other hand, President Santos thanked the Secretary-General for his visit and described him as “a great friend of Colombia”. In addition, the President Santos stressed, "We are seeing the results of the end of the conflict". “This past Christmas and New Year were the quietest and most secure celebrations that Colombia has lived in a very long time; we are already seeing the gains of having silenced the rifles".
Afterwards, the Secretary General met with FARC delegates, and held a meeting with the leadership of the Catholic Church to share views and expectations of both the implementation of the process with the FARC, and the recent ceasefire process with the ELN.
At the end of the day, the Secretary-General attended an official dinner, hosted by President Santos.
On Sunday, the Secretary-General will visit the Area of Training and Reintegration of Buenavista in the municipality of Mesetas department of Meta where he will be accompanied by Jean Arnault, Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Martín Santiago and the Resident Coordinator of the UN in Colombia.
Upon return to Bogota from his field visit, the Secretary-General will hold a meeting with representatives of victims' organizations and civil society, and to cap his trip, he will give a press conference to share his impressions of the visit.
The Secretary-General underscored that the Colombian experience is "proof that not all the challenges we face in the world go unanswered. Here we have a solution, a strong solution, and it has all our support".
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