Security Council Press Statement on Colombia, April 17, 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 progress in 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 and Country Team. They stressed the importance of the international community remaining closely engaged.
The Members of the Security Council welcomed the launch of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders” and looked forward to its implementation. They reiterated their serious concern over continued threats, attacks, and killings targeting these groups, as well as community and social leaders, including those from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, and former FARC-EP members. They further reiterated their call for effective action to bring those responsible to justice and improve security, including through extension of integrated civilian and security state presence and implementation of the Comprehensive Security and Protection Programme for Communities and Organisations in the Territories. They urged regular convening of the National Commission on Security Guarantees, and progress in developing, in partnership with civil society, a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups, including measures to address child recruitment. They welcomed government measures to strengthen protection for former FARC-EP members living in and outside the former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TATRs).
The Members of the Security Council welcomed the approval of additional income-generating projects by the government and the continued commitment of the vast majority of former FARC-EP members to the peace process. They urged an increased focus on the sustainability of the reintegration process through close community engagement and resolution of outstanding issues of accreditation, land for income-generating projects, and the needs of women former combatants and those living outside former TATRs. They welcomed the work carried out by Colombian youth to support peace and reconciliation, including reintegration of former combatants.
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 encouraged dialogue between the parties to overcome differences, including through the full use of mechanisms established for this purpose. They underlined the central role of Colombian authorities at all levels in implementation, including through the Development Programmes with a Territorial Focus, which progress with strong government leadership and community participation and benefit from coordination with other peace programmes. They welcomed the efforts by departmental and local authorities, including newly elected authorities, to incorporate implementation of the Agreement into their development plans.
The Members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the three components of the Integral System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, and encouraged them to continue to make progress in their critical work. They stressed the need for these entities to be able to work independently and autonomously, and for individuals appearing before them to contribute genuinely to truth in order to provide justice for victims.
The Members of the Security Council recognised the additional challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. They welcomed assurances by the Colombian authorities that peace implementation efforts would be sustained, and measures taken jointly by the parties to prevent the spread of the virus among former FARC-EP members and ensure continued provision of vital services in this population. They noted the active unilateral cease-fire declared by the National Liberation Army for April in response to the call of the Secretary-General, and hoped that its observation, including the cessation of threats and violence by all elements of the group, would facilitate these and other efforts to address the pandemic in conflict-affected areas. They expressed their full support for efforts by the Verification Mission and Country Team in the face of this challenge.