16 Jul 2021
The following press statement was issued by the UN Security Council after receiving a briefing by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, SRSG and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to the UN Security Council Meeting on 13 July 2021.
New York, 16 July 2021. 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 support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. They welcomed both parties’ continued commitment to this end, in the face of formidable challenges. They strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission, working in coordination with the UN Country Team, and noted its expanded mandate under resolution 2574 (2021) to verify compliance with sentences to be issued by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP).
The Members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the three components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, and stressed the need to fully respect their independence and autonomy. They welcomed the significant recent progress in fulfilment of each of their critical mandates, as outlined by the Secretary-General in his latest report, including the response by former members of the FARC-EP to their indictment for hostage-taking by the SJP. Noting that this constitutes a key phase for the peace process, they encouraged all parties to fulfil their responsibilities to the victims of the conflict by contributing fully to the truth.
The Members of the Security Council reiterated their concern regarding the persistent threats, attacks and killings targeting community and social leaders, including women leaders and those from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, as well as former FARC-EP members who laid down their arms as participants in the peace process. They took note of the briefing by a youth leader from Pasto, and in this regard underlined the importance of Colombia’s youth as protagonists of peace and welcomed commitments to involve youth in decision-making. They emphasised the need for further progress in implementing the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”, and the importance of enhancing education and employment opportunities for women and youth. They encouraged the parties to work closely together on the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Security and Protection for former combatants, and looked forward to the swift implementation of the public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups.
The Members of the Security Council commended the results attained thus far in the reintegration process and encouraged efforts to enhance them, including through increased institutional attention to former combatants residing outside the former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TATRs).
The Members of the Security Council regretted the recent violence witnessed in the context of nationwide protests and expressed their condolences for the loss of life. They echoed appeals for non-violence, respect for human rights and the resolution of differences through peaceful and inclusive dialogue. They welcomed the Government’s commitment to conduct transparent investigations into reports of disproportionate use of force and hold those responsible to account.
The Members of the Security Council welcomed continued efforts by the Colombian Government to promote inclusive development as an important element of stable and lasting peace. They reiterated the importance of implementing all aspects of the Final Peace Agreement, including rural reform, inclusive political participation, the ethnic perspectives, the gender provisions, and countering illicit drugs including through crop substitution programmes. They encouraged all actors to accelerate efforts and consolidate progress towards its comprehensive implementation ahead of the fifth anniversary of its signing in November 2021.