Success of Colombia peace course of hinges on ending violence: Mission chief

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Secretary-Common’s Particular Consultant and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, mentioned armed teams in some elements of the nation are focusing on the very communities who have been most victimized through the half-century-long civil warfare, which formally ended with the signing of a historic Final Peace Agreement in 2016. 

“Violence can also be exacting a very excessive toll on indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities within the type of killings, displacements and the growing recruitment of minors,” he said

Landmark election 

Mr. Massieu briefed the Council on the outcomes of the not too long ago concluded election, noting that Presidential elections are set to comply with in Could. 

“For the second time for the reason that signing of the [2016 Peace Agreement], elections have been largely freed from violence,” he mentioned, including that the profitable laydown of arms by members of the now-defunct FARC-EP militia group – verified by the UN – considerably decreased the possibility of clashes. 

The election featured, for the primary time, the chance for Colombians to elect representatives of 16 new electoral districts established beneath the Peace Settlement, in conflict-affected areas. 

As well as, the latest vote noticed a notable enhance within the variety of girls candidates and ladies elected to Congress. 

“The present electoral cycle helps illustrate a few of the dividends of peace,” mentioned the Particular Consultant. 

Former combatants 

A serious part of Colombia’s peace course of stays the social reintegration of former FARC-EP members, in addition to former combatants from different armed teams, who’ve agreed to put down their arms in return for State safety. 

Right this moment, greater than 13,000 accredited former fighters – together with nearly two-thirds of all former FARC-EP members – are reintegrating, and stay engaged with the peace course of. 

Nonetheless, the lingering violence spotlighted by the Particular Consultant continues to jeopardize former combatants’ plans to construct a brand new life. 

In opposition to that backdrop, Mr. Massieu careworn the accountability of the Colombian Authorities to totally implement the safety ensures specified by the 2016 Settlement. 

He added that these provisions can have the added advantages of boosting political participation and transitional justice, and are carefully linked to rural reform efforts and the success of voluntary crop substitution programmes. 

Reality and justice  

The Particular Consultant additionally up to date the Council on the historic first hearings of “acknowledgement of accountability” classes, to be held by the Authorities’s Particular Jurisdiction for Peace, within the coming weeks.  

In these hearings, former FARC-EP commanders, members of the general public safety forces and civilian third events, can have a platform to reveal their dedication to the reality and the rights of victims. 

The method is a crucial a part of Colombia’s restorative justice initiative, which is being led by the Particular Jurisdiction for Peace. 

In the meantime, in one other essential improvement, Colombia’s Reality Fee – established beneath the Peace Settlement to gather and analyse the testimonies of hundreds of victims who suffered violence through the 50-year lengthy civil battle – is poised to launch its last report in June. 

Urging Colombia to “make smart use” of the report, Mr. Massieu mentioned the UN stands able to assist the Fee in its essential work of disseminating that textual content. 

Passing the baton 

Describing Colombia’s peace as invaluable – in addition to a poignant instance of a profitable peace course of “in a world of geopolitical divisions, countless wars and the multiplying of conflicts” – the Particular Consultant urged the Council to proceed to assist the Authorities in defending it. 

Whereas the baton will quickly be handed to a brand new administration, he expressed his hope that Colombia’s future leaders will proceed to imagine the accountability of implementing the Peace Settlement. 

Political events, civil society and different stakeholders should additionally decide to advance on the settlement’s pending components and face challenges decisively, mentioned Mr. Massieu. 

“Colombia reminds the world that even an armed battle of greater than 5 many years, with a painful toll of tens of millions of victims may be resolved via dialogue, laying the foundations for reconciliation and non-repetition.” 

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