Security Council Press Statement on Colombia
New York, 22 July, 2022. The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They welcomed the largely peaceful conduct of the elections as a symbol of the strengthening of Colombian democracy as a consequence of the Final Peace Agreement. They also welcomed the increase in elected women representatives in Congress.
As a new administration prepares to take office, the members of the Security Council underscored the importance of ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement including to accelerate the implementation of the ethnic and gender provisions. In that context, they welcomed the commitment of President-elect Gustavo Petro to deepen its implementation and seek broader peace through dialogue with other illegal armed groups. The members of the Security Council were briefed on the intention of the incoming administration to open talks with the ELN.
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. In particular, they welcomed the release of the Truth Commission’s final report as an unprecedented opportunity for Colombians to come to terms with their past and as a stepping stone for long-term reconciliation and lasting peace.
The members of the Security Council also welcomed the progress made by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) over recent months including the public hearings, in which perpetrators acknowledged, in the presence of victims, their responsibility for crimes committed during the armed conflict. They noted the ongoing preparations of the UN Mission to verify compliance with and the implementation of restorative sentences to be issued by the SJP.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and welcomed the commitment of both parties to this end. In this regard, they underscored the Secretary-General’s observation that the new administration will have both the responsibility and the historic opportunity to bring Colombia’s peace process forward.
The members of the Security Council stressed their concern regarding the persistent threats, attacks and killings targeting former FARC-EP 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 reaffirmed their call for the swift adoption by the National Commission for Security Guarantees of a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups and emphasised the need to increase the integrated presence of the State in conflict-affected areas. They emphasised the importance of addressing outstanding challenges on rural reform and on the reintegration and security of former combatants including expanding access to land and housing, enhancing education and employment opportunities and ensuring support for the many who are living outside of former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration to ensure the sustainable reintegration of former combatants. They underlined the importance of further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”. They welcomed the incoming administration’s commitment to creating the conditions necessary for a cessation of hostilities between all illegal armed groups and the prevention of violence against civilians.
The members of the Security Council strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission, working in coordination with the United Nations country team. They once again reiterated that Colombia’s peace process continued to serve as an example to the world of the possibility of resolving armed conflict through dialogue.