Delivered by: Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
At the outset, I thank Special Representative Carlos Massieu for his valuable briefing and continued work in Colombia. I also listened carefully to Ms Diana Salcedo, and I welcome the participation of Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva Duran in this meeting.
In my remarks today, I would like to focus on three main points.
First, the United Arab Emirates welcomes the Government of Colombia’s continued dedication and steps taken to implement the Final Peace Agreement. This includes the recently approved National Development Plan, which embeds the Peace Agreement in its foundations. We are also encouraged by efforts to implement the “Ethnic Chapter” and “Rural Reform”, while also stressing the need to prioritise implementation of the “Gender Provisions” of the Agreement. Expanding women’s political participation is an important step, but it must be coupled with measures that address increased security risks and violence against women and girls, particularly conflict related sexual violence. This includes utilizing existing mechanisms, such as the different components of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, to advance the protection and promotion of women and girls across Colombia’s society.
Second, we commend the approach of the National Reintegration Council to ensure a sustainable strategy for the reintegration of former combatants. These men and women honoured their commitment to the Final Peace Agreement, and facilitating their effective and safe reintegration into Colombian society should remain a priority. This includes implementing the security guarantees, which are crucial for the success of the Peace Agreement.
This leads me to my third point, we remain concerned by the persist violence against civilians, including former combatants and community leaders, which threaten efforts for peacebuilding and reconciliation. We recognise that ongoing peace talks, including the recent six-month ceasefire agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN), are another tool to tackle violence in Colombia. You can count on the UAE’s constructive engagement in Council discussions regarding the requested expansion of the mandate of the UN Verification Mission, to support the government in its efforts towards peace. We reaffirm here our full support for the UN Verification Mission, under the leadership of Special Representative Massieu.
In conclusion, the growing and continued engagement between Colombia and this Council remains an important process towards safeguarding the peace dividends achieved thus far. It is also a clear representation of the international community’s commitment to peace in Colombia. This continued engagement and cooperation provides the necessary support for Colombia to ensure long-term and sustainable security, stability and prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. President.