Security Council Press Statement on Colombia
New York, 17 October 2023. The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They stressed the importance of ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and acknowledged efforts to seek broader peace, including implementation of agreements with the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and recent announcements regarding the armed group that calls itself Estado Mayor Central (EMC). They encouraged all participants to advance through agreements the shared objective of reducing violence and further alleviating the suffering of the civilian population.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the continued momentum of the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement including through substantive budgetary allocations to the national agrarian reform system, the prioritisation of rural development in the National Development Plan, increased dialogue with peasant and landholder organisations, and the identification of priority regions to advance rural reform. They welcomed efforts to strengthen the process to reintegrate former combatants including the approval of a strategy to promote former combatants’ access to employment. They looked forward to further progress in this regard. They reiterated support for further progress on strengthening the decision-making entity in charge of implementation within the Presidency.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their call on the government to intensify its efforts towards implementation of the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Agreement to accelerate this vital component in the peacebuilding process.
The members of the Security Council commended the adoption of the public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups and criminal organisations. They reiterated their strong concern at illegal child recruitment by armed groups and the continued threats and violence faced by former combatants who laid down their arms as participants in the peace process, social leaders, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, and called for further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”. They urged the Government to take all necessary steps including implementing the public policy to ensure their security and protection.
In the context of regional elections this month, they reiterated their call to the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure fair and safe political participation, including by former combatants as a key element of their transition to civilian life.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress of Colombia’s first National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security and hoped that this, along with other steps, would accelerate implementation of the gender provisions of the Final Peace Agreement. They welcomed the Special Jurisdiction for Peace’s (SJP) opening of Macro Case 11 to advance accountability for sexual and gender-based violence and looked ahead to the SJP issuing its first sentences.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the Government of Colombia’s efforts to seek broader peace through dialogue and through the continued comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. They recognised efforts by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General through his good office to support dialogue between the parties, including in reaching ceasefire agreements. They welcomed initial implementation of the Verification Mission’s mandate to participate in verifying and monitoring the ceasefire with the ELN. They took note of the announcement of a planned ceasefire in October 2023 between the Government and EMC and reiterated the Security Council’s willingness to consider mandating the Verification Mission to participate in monitoring and verification when the Secretary-General has confirmed a ceasefire with appropriate verification protocols has been reached and taking into account an update from the Secretary-General on the progress of implementation of UNSCR 2694.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement as the primary pillar to secure broad and lasting peace and stability in Colombia, and welcomed the continued commitment of both parties to this end. They strongly supported the complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, working in coordination with the United Nations Country Team.