PRESS: Colombian Government and FARC to Discuss Peace Talks in European Parliament

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 28 January 2016

Press Release

Colombian Government and FARC to Discuss Peace Talks in European Parliament

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament (AFET) will be hosting negotiators from the Colombian government and the FARC at a formal hearing on Thursday 28th January at 11.00 to discuss the Colombian peace process. This is the first time negotiators from both parties will share a panel to address the European public on the subject.

The event was proposed by Richard Howitt MEP, Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and vice-president of London based NGO Justice for Colombia. Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, and the head of the FARC negotiating team, Iván Márquez, will be speaking via live video link about the progress of the peace talks. Other speakers include Dr Roddy Brett, an expert on peace-building and conflict resolution, and Eamon Gilmore, European Union envoy for the peace process in Colombia. The event will be chaired by Elmar Brok, chair of the AFET.

This follows a historic peace event at the British Parliament organised by Justice for Colombia and the Parliamentary Friends of Colombia last March, which was the first time the Colombian Government and the FARC shared a public platform outside the formal peace process.

The Colombian peace talks aim to end more than 50 years of conflict between the government and the FARC and since peace talks began in Havana in 2012 negotiators have reached agreement on many key issues. This event will provide MEPs with an insight into current progress and follows on from a European Union parliamentary resolution last week where MEPs from all groups gave their unanimous support and committed European funding to the implementation of a final peace agreement.

Richard Howitt MEP stated:

“It is of vital importance for peace in Colombia that the European Parliament hears from both the Colombian government and the FARC and provides all the support they can to end one of the world’s longest running conflicts.”

Mariela Kohon, Director of Justice for Colombia said:

“This is a crucial moment in the Colombian peace process. It is essential that the international community continues to support the process and helps end the human rights abuses that civil society organisations still face.”

For more information please contact Mariela Kohon +447787 821 410, mariela@justiceforcolombia.org, or you can follow the event on twitter by following @JFColombia.

Notes to Editors:

- The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament (AFET) is a cross-party committee responsible for common European foreign and security policy as well as scrutinising issues concerning human rights in third countries.

- Justice for Colombia is a British NGO founded by the TUC in 2003 which supports human rights and peace in Colombia. It has facilitated exchanges between Northern Irish politicians and both sides of the peace talks including President Santos, since the talks began.



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