Implementation of Colombia Peace Accord Gaining Traction, Special Representative Tells Security Council, as It Prepares to Discuss Expanding Verification Mission
Concerns Voiced over Violence against Ex-Combatants, Marginalized Groups
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia can make a significant contribution through the monitoring and verification of ceasefires, the Special Representative for the country told the Security Council today, as members prepare to deliberate on the Government’s request for an expansion of the Mission’s mandate, amidst positive developments in Colombia’s implementation of the Final Agreement with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army (FARC-EP), and ongoing violence against ex-combatants and other marginalized groups.
Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, presented the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2023/477), noting that implementation of the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace is gaining traction across several sections. Particularly noteworthy are the numerous peace-related provisions of the national development plan, increased attention to comprehensive rural reform, and the allocation of much-needed funding to implement the Agreement. He detailed steps it has taken to further implement its ethnic chapter and bring about restorative justice. However, violence against peasant leaders, land claimants and ex-combatants continues to prevent realization of the accord’s full potential.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers welcomed the agreement on a six-month national ceasefire between the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), with others also commending the Colombian authorities’ efforts to reach further ceasefires with other armed groups. They voiced concern however about the violence faced by Afro-Colombians, Indigenous Peoples, women and children, and the most vulnerable populations, as well as ex-combatants who must be safely reintegrated into society.
The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 4:44 p.m.