The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Christoph Heusgen (Germany):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They agreed with the Secretary-General’s assessment that the peace process stands today at a critical juncture.
The members of the Security Council recognized the achievements of the peace process over the past three years, acknowledged the very significant challenges involved in overcoming the legacy of five decades of conflict and stressed the importance of building on achievements so far to ensure that the process remains a success. In this regard, they welcomed both parties’ continued affirmation to their commitments under the agreement.
The members of the Security Council took note of the debate regarding the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. They welcomed President [Iván] Duque’s pledge to build national consensus around the transitional justice system and urged swift actions by all concerned entities to ensure that a statutory law is put into place as soon as possible in accordance with the Peace Agreement so as to secure a legal foundation for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace as it works to provide justice for victims. The members of the Security Council reiterated their call for full respect for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace’s independence and autonomy.
The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of a smooth transition of the Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration once their current legal status expires in August. In this regard, they welcomed President Duque’s visits to the Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration where he provided reassurance of the Government’s commitment to the reintegration of the former combatants. They underlined the need to ensure that the relevant plans are developed and implemented in close consultation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army (FARC-EP).
The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern at the current pace of the reincorporation process and at the killing of former FARC-EP members. They encouraged the parties to accelerate efforts to secure the full socioeconomic, political and legal reincorporation of former FARC-EP members, including through continued work by the National Reincorporation Council and efforts to ensure access to land and markets, as well as to strengthen security guarantees through preventive and protective measures, in particular to ensure their and all parties’ safe participation in local elections in 2019. The members of the Council stressed the importance of implementing the agreement as an interlocking set of commitments, which include reintegration plans and rural reform.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern about the persistent pattern of killings of community and social leaders. They stressed the importance of swift action on the ground, including, in this regard, through the “Action Plan for the Protection of Social and Community Leaders, Human Rights Defenders, and Journalists”. They stressed the importance of swift action to prevent attacks and bring those responsible to justice. They welcomed recent regional sessions of the National Commission on Security Guarantees and urged that these sessions result in concrete actions to improve security for communities and individuals at risk, in partnership with civil society. They stressed the importance of an effective extension of State presence in conflict-affected areas, combining both civilian and security institutions. In this regard, they welcomed the finalization of the 16 Development Plans with a Territorial Focus.
The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of the implementation of the gender provisions of the peace agreement, including through gender-sensitive measures in the reintegration of former FARC-EP members and security guarantees for women leaders. They also underlined the importance of engaging youth in dialogue regarding the implementation of the peace agreement, including the reintegration process.
The members of the Council acknowledged the importance of civil society participation in the building of peace in societies emerging from conflict. They welcomed the briefing by civil society leader Rosa Emilia Salamanca, which highlighted the concerns, hopes and expectations of Colombia’s civil society.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to progress in the implementation of the peace agreement in order to secure a lasting peace. They appreciated the complementary efforts of the United Nations Verification Mission and country team to support Colombia’s peacebuilding efforts. They also stressed the importance of the international community remaining closely engaged to support and encourage implementation.