In its periodic statement on the Colombian peace process, issued on 18 January, the United Nations Security Council has welcomed the positive advances made under the government of Gustavo Petro. One of these concerned the increased implementation of the rural reform chapter, which had experienced major delays under the previous government but which has seen accelerated land distribution and increased budgets under the current administration.
The Petro government’s commitment to implement 60 per cent of the agreement by 2026 was also recognised as a positive step, as was the progress made in peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas and the Estado Mayor Central (ESM) armed group. However, the Council raised concerns over ongoing violence against social activists and former FARC guerrillas, particularly women and indigenous and African-Colombian populations.
Read the UN Security Council’s full statement below.
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON COLOMBIA
New York, 18 January 2024.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia. They stressed the importance of ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement and welcomed the broad expressions of national commitment to its continued implementation in the context of the recently commemorated seventh anniversary. Following the holding of local elections for the second time since the signing of the Peace Agreement, they encouraged the newly elected departmental and municipal authorities to seize the opportunity to play a key role in fostering peace. They further underscored the importance of ensuring the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women from diverse backgrounds in the peace process.
The members of the Security Council commended increased attention to the rural reform provisions of the Peace Agreement, which was key to addressing structural issues at the heart of the conflict, and welcomed progress including the continued acquisition and delivery of land to peasant and ethnic communities, budget increase, and comprehensive assistance of rural development. They also welcomed the adoption of the Comprehensive Reintegration Programme as an important step to reach sustainable reintegration and the initial work of the National Agrarian Reform System and looked forward to entities tasked with implementation translating them into concrete results.
The members of the Security Council continued to reiterate their strong concern about the continued threats and violence faced by former combatants, social leaders, and called for further implementation of the action plan of the “Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders”. They also reiterated their strong concern that conflict related violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, continues to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls and on Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. They called on authorities to step up their efforts to protect these local leaders and participants in the peace process, in particular women, and on State institutions to increase efforts to fight impunity as a matter of urgency.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition and encouraged dialogue among responsible entities to ensure conditions are in place for the implementation of the upcoming sentences of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP). They also welcomed the opening of Macro Case 11 as an important step in delivering accountability for survivors and victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the Government of Colombia’s public commitment to accelerate implementation of the ethnic chapter by signing a national pact to complete 60 percent of its implementation by 2026 and urged the Government to take all necessary steps to deliver its pledge.
The members of the Security Council also looked forward to the completion of Colombia’s first National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security and hoped that this, along with other steps, would accelerate implementation of the gender provisions of the Final Peace Agreement.
The members of the Security Council continued to look forward to the realisation of a previously announced decision-making entity in charge of implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the Government of Colombia’s efforts to seek broader peace through dialogue and through the continued comprehensive implementation of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement. They took note of the fifth round of negotiations between the Government and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the commitment of the parties to renew their bilateral ceasefire. The members of the Security Council encouraged all participants in the peace negotiations to negotiate in good faith with the shared objective of reducing violence and further alleviating the suffering of the civilian population. They also welcomed the important work of the National Participation Committee to strengthen civil society engagement in the process. They expressed hope for progress in dialogues and the continuation and strengthening of ceasefire arrangements between the Government and the armed group that calls itself Estado Mayor Central (EMC).
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely with Colombia to support comprehensive implementation of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement as the primary pillar to secure broad and lasting peace and stability in Colombia, and welcomed the continued commitment of both parties to this end. They took note of the appointment of an international human rights expert in Colombia, at the request of the Government of Colombia, to identify obstacles to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. They strongly supported the complementary efforts by the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, working in coordination with the United Nations Country Team and looked forward to a high-level delegation of the Council visiting Colombia in February to demonstrate the Security Council’s full commitment to the peace process in Colombia and its support for the comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement.
Download or read the UN Verification Mission’s latest report on Colombia here.