European Parliament Rejects Resolution to support the Colombian Peace Process

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https://www.abcolombia.org.uk/european-parliament-rejects-resolution-support-colombian-peace-process/

Please write to your MEP expressing your concern that the Resolution was not agreed nor passed unanimously. 

The proposed EU Resolution to support the Colombian Peace Process, in line with the resolution adopted by unanimity in January 2016, was rejected following a debate in the European Parliament on 16 January 2018.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the EPP (centre-right) and ALDE (liberals) prevented a vote on the proposed European Parliament resolution, allegedly because they saw it as a measure which was seeking to influence the Colombian elections on 11 March 2018 (Senate) and 27 May 2018 (first round of the Presidential elections).  The parties on the on the central and left of the parliament the S&D (Social Democrats), GUE and Greens, all of whom supported the Resolution, decided instead to make a joint statement in favour of the peace process in Colombia.

This is a disappointing decision on the part of the EPP and ALDE MEPs, as peace really should not be seen as having any particular political party affiliation. It was widely acknowledged that Colombian citizens were not voting against peace in the referendum but rather questioning some aspects of the Peace Agreements.

It is well recognised that building sustainable peace is one of the most daunting of challenges facing humankind. International support for national efforts is always required across the broadest range of activities. Resolutions publicly supporting and encouraging a nation in the challenging environment of peace building are required throughout any peace process. It is therefore regrettable to see the stance taken by the EPP and ALDE on this resolution.

Louise Winstanley, Programme and Advocacy Manager, ABColombia.

Other actions in favour of Peace taken by the European Union:

The EU has appointed a Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process, Eamon Gilmore; as well as providing a range of funds to support the peace-building process.

After half a century of war, it would be naïve to imagine that reconciliation could happen overnight. This last stretch of the road towards peace may be the hardest part. But it is just as important as the peace agreement itself. The people of Colombia … need all our support from the European Union side. They can be sure that the European Union, together with the United Nations, will continue to be the strongest supporter of peace and human rights in Colombia.

Statement made by Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

EU Trust Fund

The EU agreed to establish a Trust Fund for Colombia in support of the Colombian peace process during the EU-CELAC Summit of 2015. It came into effect on 12 December 2016. The EU Trust Fund for Colombia has received contributions from 19 EU member states to date (19/1/18) and currently has a budget of EUR 95 million, of which the UK has contributed EUR 1.5 million. 

According to Sir Alan Duncan Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) the UK is the biggest contributor to the UN Trust Fund. These Funds support important aspects of the Peace Accord to do with the rights of victims such as the Truth Commission. The UK also, via its support for the UN Office for Human Rights in Colombia, provides financial support for projects to enable victims to participate in the Transitional Justice Process.

EU priorities and commitments in relation to the Peace Accord:

  • Rural reform
  • Reincorporation of ex-FARC guerrillas into civilian life
  • The establishment of a Special Investigation Unit in the Prosecutor-General’s office to combat crime and protect activists

The EU Instrument on Stability and Peace is contributing EUR 40 million (as of 19/1/18).This instrument  provides financial support to the transitional justice system and it is also possible that these funds will support the new Special Investigation Unit to fight organised crime and protect human rights defenders.

Notes

The EU Trust Fund is a development tool that pools together resources from different donors in order to enable a quick, flexible, and collective EU response