Delivered by: Myan Tantawy, Third Secretary
Thank you, Mr. President.
We thank Special Representative Ruiz-Massieu for his valuable briefing. Your work and that of your team has been critical to providing this Council with the necessary and much-needed insights on the developments in Colombia. We also thank Mr. Botero for his briefing and for shedding light on dire impact of conflict, not only on people, but on the environment too.
We also thank Mr Hrvatinić for his briefing on behalf of the Peacebuilding Commission, and we welcome the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia here today.
We have reached a critical juncture on the path to peace and security in Colombia. The hard-won gains should not be taken for granted. On the contrary, they demonstrate that nothing short of a holistic and whole of society approach is necessary for securing a just and lasting peace throughout the country.
As such, the United Arab Emirates wishes to make three points today.
First, we must maintain momentum to ensure the full and comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement.
Now almost at the midway point, seeing this through to its successful conclusion is crucial.
We welcome the government’s progress in the implementation of the Agreement, including on rural reform and the gender provisions, as well as the progress made in the country’s first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
However, continued violence against civilians, and in particular against former combatants, remains a challenge that must be addressed. These men and women honoured their commitment by pursuing the path to peace. We stress the critical need to take all necessary measures in ensuring their security and protection. At stake is the preservation of an environment of reconciliation.
Similarly, all efforts should be made to allow for safe and inclusive elections to take place. To see an electoral process that is truly representative – including women, indigenous people, and former combatants – enhanced security measures are needed, and we welcome efforts in this regard.
Second, the work of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition has been crucial for building trust and reconciliation in Colombia. We focus today on the work of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.
The cases of the SJP, where victims have been at the heart of the process, are well underway in reaching the stage where the first restorative sentences are issued. This will be key for the transitional justice process and reparation and to the overall implementation of the Agreement.
We particularly welcome the added focus on addressing conflict-related sexual violence, which is critical in the reconciliation process.
Third, upholding the ceasefire is at the core of the first steps towards a broader, lasting peace across the country.
The ongoing ceasefire between the Government and the ELN reflects the new era of trust building in Colombia.
As such, the UAE reaffirms its support for all efforts to monitor and verify this ceasefire agreement, including through the recent expansion of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission.
And as we heard from the SRSG during the meeting of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security in August, women are playing a prominent role in this process. Representation in this form sets the scene for peacebuilding that is truly inclusive and has a greater chance of being sustainable.
Colombia has worked with this Council and the international community to show what can be achieved when there is an unwavering commitment to reconciliation. As our last mandated Security Council briefing on Colombia, the UAE wishes to acknowledge and commend all those who have worked towards this goal.
The building blocks of peace are firmly in place.
As it continues taking the necessary steps in the reconciliation process, we have faith that the country will continue to move beyond its past and towards a secure, more prosperous future for the people of Colombia.
Thank you, Mr. President.