Security Council Press Statement on Colombia following UNSC Colombia Session

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 2016 Final Peace Agreement and expressed appreciation to the Government of Colombia for hosting a visit of the Council in February 2024.

The Council welcomed the political will demonstrated by the Colombian Government to build sustainable peace and noted important progress in developing plans for implementation of the 2016 Agreement. They encouraged the prompt translation of these foundational plans and strategies into implementation on the ground in conflict-affected regions. They also stressed the importance of high-level coordination of government actions and encouraged the Government to make full use of the peace architecture in the 2016 Agreement including regularly convening the “Commission for the follow up, promotion and verification of the implementation of the Final Agreement”.

The Council welcomed the increased attention to the rural reform provisions of the 2016 Agreement which is key to addressing structural issues at the heart of the conflict. They welcomed increased budget allocations to rural reform, and acquisition and delivery of land. However, they looked forward to more progress on rural reform goals as agreed upon in the Final Agreement including broader implementation of the national rural reform plans, and urged in this regard the approval of the national rural health plan. They encouraged efforts from all relevant ministries to progress this matter including allocating sufficient resources, to ensure reforms deliver for all communities.

The Council underscored the need for implementation of the Ethnic chapter without delay. They looked forward to tangible results of the intensified efforts under the office of the Vice-President to monitor progress and meet the ambitious objectives established for implementation of the Ethnic Chapter. They also welcomed progress on the acquisition and formalisation of land for Afro-Colombian community councils.

The Council acknowledged the resilience of former combatants in their reintegration and welcomed the government’s commitment to strengthening the reintegration process. They encouraged the implementation of the Comprehensive Reincorporation Program. However, they expressed their concern about threats to former combatants and emphasised the need for security guarantees. They stressed the urgency of implementing the comprehensive protection program for former combatants, accelerating risk assessment procedures, and implementing the corresponding protection measures.

The Council also reiterated its deep continued concern about violence and insecurity affecting women and communities, in particular the continued threats and violence faced by social leaders, and called for further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”. They reaffirmed the importance of sustaining an environment free of violence and also reiterated their strong concern that conflict-related violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, continued to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls and on Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. They strongly encouraged enhanced prevention and protection responses including implementation of the public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups and criminal organisations and to convene regularly the National Commission on Security Guarantees. They encouraged the newly appointed Attorney General and State institutions to reinvigorate efforts to protect former combatants, social leaders and people in all their diversity, fight impunity for crimes against them and combat the criminal structures responsible for violence.

The members of the Security Council looked forward to the timely publication of Colombia’s first National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security and hoped that this, along with other steps, would accelerate the implementation of the gender provisions of the Final Agreement and the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Colombia.

The Council underscored the critical role of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) within the peace process and recognised its work to date, and looked forward this year to the issuance of its first sentences as a key milestone. They underlined the importance of prompt delivery of justice in supporting the rights of the victims, and of assuring legal certainty for those within its jurisdiction under the terms of the 2016 Agreement. They also echoed the Secretary General’s call for “constructive dialogue among all concerned parties, within the established framework of the Final Peace Agreement, in order to overcome the recently encountered obstacles”. They recalled the role of the Government of Colombia in support of this process in redoubling its efforts to establish the conditions for the implementation of restorative 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 2016 Agreement. They took note of the sixth round of negotiations between the Government and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the extended ceasefire agreement, as well as the reaffirmed commitment of ELN to suspend ransom kidnappings. They also welcomed the important work of the National Participation Committee to ensure the full participation of Colombian society in the process. They also welcomed the positive role of the monitoring and verification mechanism of the ceasefire, including the participation of the UN Verification Mission, in the prevention of potential armed confrontations between the parties. They also stressed the importance of ceasefires representing a pathway to a peace process which reduced violence and alleviated the suffering of the civilian population. They also underscored the importance of child protection in peace talks, and the prevention of recruitment and use of children.

The Council took note of the Government’s partial suspension of the ceasefire with the armed group that calls itself Estado Mayor Central (EMC) following the acts of violence by the group against an Indigenous community. The Council condemned these acts and called on the EMC to cease acts of violence against the civilian population. They urged the parties to strengthen the ceasefire and develop further the negotiating agenda.

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.

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