The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General welcomes the launch on 7 February in Quito, Ecuador, of formal peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Resolving this conflict is essential to achieving a comprehensive peace in Colombia, to saving lives and to advancing sustainable development across the whole country.
The Secretary-General takes note of the commitment of the parties to listen to the voices of the communities affected by the conflict. He stresses the need for serious and productive discussions that lead promptly to a reduction of all forms of violence and the cessation of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. This is critical to building confidence and public support for the peace process.
The Secretary-General commends the guarantor Governments of Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Norway and Venezuela for their commitment, as well as the other accompanying and supporting countries.