The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Olof Skoog (Sweden):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia and shared the assessment of the Secretary-General set out in his 20 July 2018 report on the work of the United Nations Verification Mission.
The members of the Security Council recognized once more the historic milestones achieved in the transition from conflict to peace in Colombia over the past two years and paid tribute to President Juan Manuel Santos and the People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC) for their commitment and determination to overcome the legacy of five decades of conflict.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the positive developments over the past four months, including the most peaceful and inclusive presidential elections in decades; the inauguration of the new Congress on 20 July, including representatives from FARC; the first public hearings held by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace; and the work of the Commission on Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition.
The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern about continued insecurity, drug trafficking and violence in some conflict-affected areas, including the surge in killings of community and social leaders. They noted the valuable mechanisms established as a result of the peace process to address these challenges, and urged the Government of Colombia and all responsible security and civilian institutions to redouble their efforts to expand their presence in such areas, strengthen protection measures and bring perpetrators to justice in order to address these concerns effectively. In this regard, they welcomed the signing on 9 July of the national pact rejecting this violence by President Santos and President-elect Iván Duque, as well as key State institutions and political parties.
The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of the full political, legal and socioeconomic reincorporation of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP) members, including through continued work by the National Reincorporation Council (NRC) to ensure access to land and establish productive projects for former FARC-EP members. They welcomed progress by NRC to promote a comprehensive gender perspective and further welcomed the United Nations Verification Mission’s engagement with youth organizations in recognition of their increasingly active role. The members of the Security Council underscored the importance of the continued support of the international community for the reincorporation process.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to work with Colombia as it implements the peace agreement in order to secure a lasting peace in the months and years ahead. They stressed, in particular, the urgency of bringing security, the rule of law and development to conflict-affected areas through an effective extension of the presence of the State. They welcomed the commitment by President-elect Duque to promote unity and overcome polarization and looked forward to offering their full support to this ambition and to continuing the constructive engagement with the incoming administration. They urged the parties, with the support of relevant state institutions and security forces, as well as civil society, to seize this opportunity to consolidate the gains already made across Colombia and to work together to renew momentum behind implementation.
They stressed the continued importance of Colombia’s peace process as a source of inspiration for efforts in many parts of the world to end conflicts and build peace, and the importance of the international community remaining closely engaged to continue to support and encourage Colombia’s work to implement the peace agreement.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support and appreciation for the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jean Arnault, and the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.