Check Against Delivery
At the outset, the UAE thanks the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Massieu, for his valuable briefing. We also welcome the representative of Colombia Mr. Emilio Archila and Ms. Luz Marina Giraldo in this meeting.
We commend Norway for using advanced technology to provide Council members with a deeper understanding of the situation on the ground. We encourage such initiatives that serve international peace and security.
As we have heard today, Colombia has witnessed transformative progress in the implementation of the historic peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), and we just celebrated its fifth-year anniversary and reflected on how successful the implementation has been so far for the peace process in Colombia. However, several challenges remain. In this regard, I emphasize the UAE’s full support for the government and the people of Colombia in their advancement towards a sustainable peace. The UAE also affirms its support for the UN Verification Mission and its important role in Colombia.
The UAE would like to focus on three priorities to advance progress towards a lasting and sustainable peace in Colombia :
First, it is essential to create the necessary conditions to guarantee that the upcoming elections in March and May are peaceful, safe, and inclusive, and that constructive dialogue between the parties leading up to and following the elections is ensured. In this context, we highlight the Government of Colombia’s recent law to include the “16 special transitional electoral districts for peace” has facilitated wider participation across the country. We also commend the steps taken by the government to develop a range of prevention and protection strategies to ensure safe elections. These steps will contribute to protecting the sustainable and comprehensive implementation of the peace agreement .
Second, national strategies must continue to guarantee the inclusion and participation of women and youth. The active participation of young Colombian voters in municipal youth council elections provides them with a stronger voice within their communities, which in turn strengthens their role in defining their future. However, there are still significant steps that must be taken to protect women in Colombia and promote their full, equal, and meaningful participation. In particular, the participation of women former combatants, who play a critical role in achieving peace, is imperative. Progress can be made in this regard through implementing the security guarantees and gender provisions in the Peace Agreement.
Finally, addressing the persistent threats and violence against community leaders, former FARC members, and members of political parties must remain a priority so that efforts to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace in Colombia are not undermined. Despite the decrease in killings from 2020 to 2021, as highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report, these acts can severely threaten Colombia’s chance at lasting and comprehensive peace. Violence and threats, including recent clashes in the Arauca region, demonstrate why efforts, such as early warning mechanisms, must be strengthened and extended for better prevention. In this context, the UAE commends the measures taken by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace to advance the implementation of security guarantees and increase the protection of former combatants .
Support for Colombia should not be limited to the political sphere, especially in light of the impact and the global increase of COVID-19. Comprehensive support can contribute to Colombia’s progress towards peace and stability, and we look forward to working with Council members to advance sustainable peace in Colombia.