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 and reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. They welcomed both parties’ continued commitment to this end and strongly supported complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission and country team.
The members of the Security Council commended the resilience of Colombians in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomed efforts by the parties to mitigate its impact on peace implementation. They noted the particular challenges it posed to the reintegration process, and in this context stressed the importance of continued joint efforts by the Government and the FARC to ensure the sustainability of reintegration projects. They urged the acceleration of efforts to ensure access to land for former combatants, which is essential for income-generating projects, and underlined the importance of increased support in the form of technical assistance and market access.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern regarding the continued threats, attacks and killings targeting community and social leaders, including women leaders and those from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, as well as those targeting former FARC-EP members, which had persisted in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. They took note of the briefing by Clemencia Carabalí, of the Association of Afro-Colombian Women of Northern Cauca, in this regard. They encouraged further progress in implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”. They underlined the need for fuller use of the security guarantees mechanisms in the Final Peace Agreement, the extension of integrated civilian and security state presence to conflict-affected regions, and for the perpetrators of threats and violence to be brought to justice. In this respect they welcomed progress in the investigations of those responsible and encouraged all relevant actors to redouble their efforts against impunity.
The members of the Security Council welcomed progress in the reactivation of technical committees to implement the Comprehensive Security and Protection Programme for Communities and Organisations in the Territories. They urged accelerated progress by the National Commission on Security Guarantees in developing, in partnership with civil society, a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups. They noted with concern that insecurity had forced several groups of ex-combatants to abandon their locations of residence, including former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TATRs), and areas outside the former TATRs where they continued to face increased risk. They urged adequate funding and support for the National Protection Unit to ensure the physical protection of former combatants.
The members of the Security Council welcomed efforts by the Colombian authorities to promote inclusive development as an important element of stable and lasting peace. They stressed the importance of implementing all aspects of the Final Peace Agreement, including rural reform, political participation, countering illicit drugs including crop substitution programmes, and transitional justice. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the three components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, and welcomed the continued progress in fulfilment of their critical mandates. They took note with interest of the aspiration expressed by the parties and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) for the Verification Mission to assume a role in verifying compliance with SJP sanctions as envisioned by the Final Peace Agreement.
The members of the Security Council expressed their hope that the appeal of the Secretary-General for an immediate global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as endorsed by the Council in its resolution 2532 (2020), would lead to efforts by all parties in Colombia to halt violence, facilitate the pandemic response and further entrench peace.