Security Council Press Statement on Colombia SC/14332

19 Oct 2020

Security Council Press Statement on Colombia SC/14332

New York, 19 October 2020. The Members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia, and reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. They welcomed both parties’ continued commitment to this end, and strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission, working in coordination with the Country Team. 

The Members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern regarding the persistent threats, attacks and killings targeting community and social leaders, including women leaders and those from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, as well as those targeting former FARC-EP members who laid down their arms under the peace process, and urged further progress in implementing the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”.

They strongly condemned the multiple killings, including of children and young people, witnessed in recent months. They noted that this violence occurred mainly in areas with limited state presence and disputes between illegal armed groups and criminal organisations. They stressed the importance of bringing those responsible to justice, and encouraged all relevant actors to redouble their efforts against impunity; heed the early warnings issued by the Ombudsman’s Office; and support the Special Investigations Unit of the Attorney-General’s Office. They urged the National Commission on Security Guarantees to finalise, in partnership with civil society, and promptly implement a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups. They welcomed the approval, by the National Protection Unit, of additional protection measures for former combatants, and urged adequate funding to address the backlog of pending protection requests.

The Members of the Security Council commended the Government’s steps and further plans to increase purchases of land for the former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TATRs). They underlined that this was essential for the sustainability of the reintegration process, and in this regard urged a focus on the needs of former combatants living outside the former TATRs.  

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 and stressed the need to fully respect their independence and autonomy. They noted that recent expressions of responsibility for crimes committed during conflict were positive steps towards fulfilling the commitments to truth, justice, and reconciliation required by the Final Peace Agreement. They encouraged further such contributions from all parties to the conflict, and all actors to support the critical work of the three components. They reiterated their readiness to consider a role for the Verification Mission in verifying compliance with the sentences of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and noted the importance of doing so in a timely manner. 

The Members of the Security Council welcomed efforts by the Colombian authorities to promote inclusive development as an important element of stable and lasting peace. They stressed the importance of implementing all aspects of the Final Peace Agreement, including rural reform, political participation, countering illicit drugs including crop substitution programmes, and transitional justice. They welcomed the recent approval of using mineral royalties for implementation of the Development Programmes with a Territorial Focus, and underlined the importance of budgeting sufficient resources to implement the Final Peace Agreement as a whole. They noted in this regard that comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement would form an integral part of Colombia’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

The Members of the Security Council reiterated their hope that the appeal of the Secretary-General for an immediate global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as endorsed by the Council in its resolution 2532 (2020), would lead to efforts by all parties in Colombia to bring an end to violence, facilitate the pandemic response, and further entrench peace.

The Members of the Security Council, noting the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), recalled the exemplary focus on the participation of women in the Final Peace Agreement, encouraged all actors to accelerate implementation of its gender provisions, and paid tribute to women peacebuilders in Colombia.