Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Colombia.
Let me start by thanking SRSG Ruiz Massieu, Ambassador Hrvatinić for your briefings, and Mr Botero for highlighting the wider environmental challenges. I welcome the participation of Foreign Minister Leyva as well.
As we approach the seven year anniversary of the 2016 Peace Agreement, the United Kingdom commends the efforts made by successive Colombian Governments to work towards sustainable peace in the country. I’d like to highlight three particular priorities.
First, we welcome the recent progress on rural reform and the restitution of land to indigenous communities. Full implementation of the 2016 Agreement remains central to peace and reform in Colombia.
We support the Secretary-General’s call for the rapid delivery of a dedicated office within the Presidency to accelerate implementation of the agreement.
Second, we strongly condemn violence against ex-FARC signatories, human rights defenders, women leaders, and members of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. The UN Mission has verified 393 killings of ex-FARC combatants since the Final Peace Agreement was signed – this includes 18 killings since this Council last met.
We welcome progress towards rapid response plans to protect signatories of the Agreement and human rights defenders, with the adoption of a public policy to dismantle organised crime groups.
We welcome the recent opening of macro case 11 on sexual and gender-based violence by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and we look forward to the launch of Colombia’s first UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan.
We commend the participatory approach taken by the Government of Colombia, as it is vital to consider the experience of all women, as well as ethnic and LGBTQ+ groups, in this development.
Third, the continued dialogue and ceasefire between the Colombian Government and the ELN is an important step towards peace in Colombia. We expect the ELN to approach its undertakings in good faith and to respect international law.
We continue to follow closely efforts to reach a ceasefire with the dissident group of the former FARC-EP that identifies itself as the Estado Mayor Central and welcome the announcement on the 8 October of a bilateral ceasefire.
President, the UK remains committed to supporting broad and lasting peace in Colombia, and welcomes a visit by the Council in 2024.
Source : Gov.Uk