Joint Press Release by the Catholics Bishops Conference and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia
Bogotá, 8 January 2017. As participating guest members to the process of Monitoring and Verification of the Temporary, Bilateral, National Ceasefire between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the Catholics Bishops Conference and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia call upon the parties to preserve the gains achieved in terms of reducing violence during the ceasefire period.
The UN Verification Mission and the Catholics Bishops Conference are keenly aware of the difficulties of maintaining the temporary ceasefire, and the lack of consensus regarding the implementation of certain aspects of the Quito Agreement. Both entities concur on the need for a more robust ceasefire agreement to build greater trust between the parties and within Colombian society.
Furthermore, these entities also underscore the value of the humanitarian relief brought by the temporary ceasefire, and what it has represented for the communities, as well as the decrease in violence in most areas affected by the conflict. These tangible improvements result in greater legitimacy for the peace process.
On the eve of the end of the temporary ceasefire, the Catholics Bishops Conference and the UN Mission urge the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army to persevere with the dialogue, move forward in reducing violence, while consolidating and expanding the benefits achieved for the communities since the establishment of the ceasefire on 1 October 2017.