Final Peace Agreement Sends ‘Powerful Message of Hope’, Secretary-General Tells Security Council as Colombia’s President Presents Accord

SC/12524
21 September 2016
7773rd Meeting (AM)

Final Peace Agreement Sends ‘Powerful Message of Hope’, Secretary-General Tells Security Council as Colombia’s President Presents Accord

The final peace agreement in Colombia offered the prospect of lasting peace rooted in inclusive democracy after generations of conflict, Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon said today as the President of the South American nation presented the pact to the Security Council.

“Peace in Colombia sends a powerful message of hope to the world,” Secretary-General Ban said, welcoming the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army (FARC-EP).

On 13 September, the Security Council approved the deployment of 450 observers to assist the parties in laying down their arms, provide the international component and coordinate of a tripartite monitoring and verification mechanism (see press release SC/12514).

Mr. Ban commended the Security Council for having responded to Colombia’s call for assistance even before the final agreement had been settled.  The mission’s deployment was well advanced, with 200 observers already on the ground, he said, affirming that the mission would work in a coordinated manner with all actors on the ground, including local stakeholders and United Nations agencies.  He also thanked Cuba and Norway, guarantors of the negotiations, as well as Chile and Venezuela, the accompanying nations, for their contributions.

Presenting the agreement, President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón thanked the Council for the support it had accorded his country in bringing about the peace, following six years of negotiations to end a conflict that had inflicted pain on Colombians for more than 50 years.  The agreement placed the rights and welfare of victims at the centre and contained important gender provisions, he said, adding that it was a major contribution to peace in the hemisphere and the world.

In closing the meeting, Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, Council President for September, offered the 15-member body’s “warmest congratulations” on having concluded the negotiations.  “The agreement offers the promise of a new reality of security and prosperity for all Colombians,” he said.

The meeting began at 9:05 a.m. and ended at 9:20 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.