The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
As the parties prepare to resume the peace talks in Havana next week, the Secretary-General is encouraged that the year has begun with optimism in Colombia about the prospects for reaching a peace agreement in 2015.
The Secretary-General welcomes the importance attached by both parties to de-escalating the military confrontation. He is pleased to learn that the unilateral ceasefire initiated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) on 20 December 2014 has held and expresses the hope that this important gesture can be maintained. He commends the decision by President Juan Manuel Santos to begin discussions that could lead to a bilateral cease-fire. Both parties are encouraged to persist in their talks on the possible implementation of humanitarian measures to diminish the intensity of the conflict.
The Secretary-General reiterates the full support of the United Nations to the process.