At the outset, we thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, Mr. Carlos Massieu, for his valuable briefing. I would like to express welcome the participation of the President of Colombia, His Excellency Ivan Duque, in today’s meeting and thank him for his comprehensive briefing as well as for updating us on developments in his country.
As we watch Colombia move forward, it is imperative that we reflect on its journey to peace so far. We must celebrate the achievements of the Final Agreement, and most importantly, commit to building on them. We must also recognize that although challenges remain, the Colombian government and other stakeholders have shown determination to overcome such challenges. The incoming administration is faced with both a responsibility and a critical opportunity: to continue implementing the Final Agreement comprehensively and fully.
Since the last meeting of the Council, Colombia has successfully held congressional elections. This will complement efforts to comprehensively implement the Final Agreement, which is essential to Colombia’s path towards lasting and sustainable peace. In this context, we hope that the benefits of the recent pact for non-violence signed by thirteen political parties will extend beyond the elections and represent a long-term commitment to promoting peace, tolerance, and dialogue. We also welcome the increased number of women participating in parliamentary elections, whose full, equal, and meaningful participation will contribute to sustainable peace.
Although the elections were carried out in a relatively calm environment, concerns remain about the security situation and persistent violence in Colombia, including in Arauca, Chocó, and Putumayo. Addressing this issue must remain a priority and this requires the continued implementation of the security guarantees and reintegration processes contained in the Peace Agreement, which is essential to ensure the protection and security in Colombia.
In order for peacebuilding initiatives to be successful, they must be led and owned by local communities. We have recently witnessed the launch of a series of important community integration initiatives, which include local authorities and former combatants, such as the “Council for Peace” and the “Peace Mediators” initiative. In addition, the Government’s expanded efforts on the community-based reintegration strategy also reflect the importance of driving peace through economic, social, and political reintegration, and we encourage continued work to achieve those goals.
Finally, the UAE continues to support the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, its central role in restorative justice, and its survivor-centered approach, which allows reconciliation and justice to take place simultaneously. In particular, we highlight the importance of the recent diversification and expansion of its cases, including for example, the impact of violence on the environment and conflict-related sexual violence. In the same vein, we look forward to the upcoming report from the Truth Commission. We hope that communities of Colombia will support the process and results as best as possible, as it will provide a necessary step in the path towards reconciliation and acknowledgement of responsibility.
In conclusion, as Colombia approaches the presidential elections, we look forward to a peaceful, safe, and inclusive electoral process. The UAE reaffirms its full support for the Government and the people of Colombia in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace as well as for the UN verification mission and its valuable role in Colombia.