Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, concludes his visit to Colombia
Bogotá, 15 november 2017. At the end of his two-day trip to Colombia the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, made a call to the people of Colombia to "stay the course set out in the Peace Agreement". His remarks followed upon discussions with senior government officials and various sectors to assess progress in the implementation of the Agreement
“I arrived this week, at the request of the Secretary-General, to convey a sense of growing concern about how the peace process has been evolving over the past several months”, said USG Feltman in his statement to the press this Wednesday at the headquarters of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
Mr. Feltman highlighted three concerns of which, he noted, “Colombians working within the peace process and those following it internationally are well aware”.
First, he pointed to “the lack of an overall strategy for reintegration matched by concrete plans and resources to enable its success, despite a range of commendable activities underway from the Government, the FARC itself and the international community”.
The second concern related to "the situation of security in the former conflict zones, particularly those areas that have been vacated by the FARC in the course of their laying down of arms and conversion to an unarmed political movement,” stated Mr. Feltman.
The third and last concern he highlighted s to “the legal uncertainties, particularly as they affect members of the FARC, resulting from delays in approval of key legislation and the ongoing judicial review of a number of previously adopted measures” especially the Special Peace Tribunal and the Amnesty Law.
USG Feltman highlighted the fulfilment of the ceasefire between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN). “We hope that the parties can come to a timely decision on its extension past the 9th of January, and to communicate that as soon as possible to the Security Council”.
During his visit, Mr. Feltman held meetings with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; the Minister of Defense, Luis Carlos Villegas; the President of the Constitutional Court, Luis Guillermo Guerrero; and with representatives of the FARC, civil society organizations, delegates from the international community and the United Nations System in Colombia.