Activities of Secretary-General in Colombia, 13-15 January

16 January 2018

Activities of Secretary-General in Colombia, 13-15 January

United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres traveled on Saturday, 13 January, to Bogotá, Colombia, for an official visit to the country to support the peace efforts there.

Upon arrival, he met with the United Nations country team, as well as with the leadership of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.  He then met with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, and members of his Government, to discuss the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

In a joint press encounter with President Santos Calderón, he stressed that his visit was a visit of solidarity and also highlighted the need for State institutions and public services to be deployed all over the country, for the benefit of all Colombians.

He then met with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and of the Catholic Church.

The next day, Sunday, 14 January, the Secretary‑General visited local communities in Buenavista, in the Department of Meta, and a territorial area for training and reintegration for FARC nearby, in Mesetas.  He also visited a demining project in Los Tanques, before making his way back to the capital.

Back in Bogotá, the Secretary‑General met with victims of the conflict in Colombia in the Basílica del Voto Nacional.  He later held meetings with representatives of the national civil society, and the President of the Truth Commission, Francisco de Roux.

In a press conference at the conclusion of his visit, he expressed his concern regarding the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the violent events of recent days, calling for a cessation of all armed actions and for a re‑initiation of a serious and constructive dialogue.  In this context, he announced that he instructed his Special Representative in Colombia, Jean Arnault, to take all the necessary actions to facilitate the parties' return to the negotiating table.

The Secretary‑General left Bogotá at night and was back in New York on Monday, 15 January.

For information media. Not an official record.