March 2, 2021


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Exclusive Agent Outlines Priority Locations for Development in Colombia, as Protection Council Members Share Concern around Continuing Lethal Assaults – Colombia


Overseas Minister Cites Danger Posed by Armed Groups, Drug Traffickers, Highlighting Basic safety, Protection Issues

As Colombia enters the fifth yr considering the fact that signing its landmark Peace Agreement, the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission outlined 5 priority regions in which to make even further gains, as Security Council associates expressed problem about continuing lethal attacks towards former combatants and susceptible communities, through a videoconference currently.

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, who is also the Secretary-General’s Distinctive Agent, briefed customers on current developments, cited extraordinary progress in the four many years since the Peace Arrangement was signed by the Governing administration of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP). In the fifth year of the 15-yr timeframe envisioned for employing the complete Peace Arrangement, 2021 ought to be remembered as the 12 months in which daring techniques have been taken to convey to fruition the entire assure of sustainable peace, he stated, urging both functions and all Colombian actors to work together to guard the achievements created so much and to accelerate momentum on pending issues.

Presenting the Secretary-General’s report on the predicament (doc S/2020/1301), he outlined achievements, recommendations and ongoing problems, noting that violence from former combatants, social leaders, human rights defenders and communities continues to be the most major danger to peacebuilding. While multiple measures have been taken to handle the violence, every single killing is a tragic blow to peace, he emphasized, noting that four far more previous combatants have been killed given that the report’s publication, bringing the overall death toll to 252 since the signing of the Peace Agreement.

In phrases of gains, he cited, amongst some others, the 5 January announcement by Vice-President Marta Lucía Ramírez of actions to raise safety for the Particular Forum on Gender subsequent threats noted versus 10 of its 16 members. Moreover, the Govt and the United Nations nation group jointly declared on 12 January a $3.1 million financial commitment from the Organization’s Multipartner Belief Fund to help avoidance and collective defense for former combatants, social leaders, human legal rights defenders and leaders of illicit crop-substitution programmes in a few precedence locations.

Summarizing the Secretary-General’s 5 priority regions, he recalled his recurring warnings about the implications of continued spending plan shortfalls for the subdirectorate of the National Safety Unit, which provides collective and personal close-security schemes for previous combatants. Additional than 550 vacancies for bodyguards keep on being and over 1,000 requests for close defense are nevertheless pending evaluate, he said, stressing the want to prioritize that situation in light of its direct implications for the basic safety of former combatants. Equally important is ensuring that former ladies combatants have equivalent access to close defense and to deliver individuals dependable for attacks to justice, he included. He went on to underline the value of making certain the sustainability of the reintegration approach, expressing hope for ongoing favourable momentum adhering to promising developments due to the fact the conference among President Iván Duque Márquez in November 2020 with previous combatants.

Highlighting other precedence locations, he explained they consist of consolidating the integrated existence of the Point out in conflict-impacted parts, offered the existence of unlawful armed teams and criminal businesses that revenue from a limited Condition presence. Additionally, strengthening local protection and conflict-resolution mechanisms and supplying lawful economic options for susceptible populations constitute the strongest bulwark from illegal armed teams and criminal businesses, he explained. Dialogue also stays a precedence, he stated, urging the functions to spare no initiatives in working jointly — such as through the tripartite system with the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia — on problems related to former FARC-EP assets, bearing in head that the top aim of the approach is to contribute to reparations for the conflict’s victims.

The last precedence is to keep on laying the groundwork for reconciliation throughout the region, he reported. Victims and Colombian modern society in standard will be searching with excellent expectation at the Detailed Process for Truth, Justice, Reparations and Non-Repetition in 2021, with the very first sentences owing to be handed down by the Particular Jurisdiction for Peace. “The firm backing of this Council and of the worldwide group continues to be a person of the key factors making it possible for Colombia to proceed to be a supply of hope and inspiration for peaceful conflict resolution all-around the planet,” he emphasized, declaring: “Your unanimous and unequivocal help will keep on being essential as Colombians continue persevering in the entire implementation of their landmark Peace Agreement.”

Council users recommended tenacious ongoing efforts to advance alongside the route of peace, encouraging the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement. They also shared a array of issues, including persistent reviews of violence in opposition to former combatants, with several speakers calling for additional protection measures, specifically in phrases of recent attacks targeting women, little ones and indigenous peoples close to Colombia.

The agent of the United Kingdom said the initial sentences handed down by the Particular Jurisdiction of Peace will mark an vital “waypoint” for the reconciliation approach and inspired all functions to assure “as comprehensive a photo of the truth as possible”. Reconciliation will be a lot more tough for those people social leaders and former combatants who keep on to encounter lethal violence from armed groups, he predicted, emphasizing the urgent need to allocate sufficient assets to promise that they receive defense when they request it, and to make sure that women, indigenous peoples and associates of the LGBTI community are not overlooked. The backlog of 1,000 safety requests is really relating to, he additional. “Those who endanger Colombia’s peace by the two arranging and carrying out these attacks should be introduced to justice,” he stressed, contacting for increased cooperation on the section of the protection forces and enhanced judicial capacity in rural places. He also called for a reasonable strategy for dismantling armed groups and prison businesses.

The representative of Norway reported it is a “remarkable achievement” that the broad the vast majority of previous FARC combatants continue to be in the reintegration process. She inspired the authorities — in cooperation with FARC — to make certain access to land for housing and effective jobs create belief amid previous combatants, State institutions and communities boost institutional attention to the new reintegration areas and assure that ladies ex-combatants have equal accessibility to reintegration initiatives. They have to also cooperate entirely with the Reality Fee and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, as “the rules of justice, reality, reparation and non-repetition will have to keep on being previously mentioned ideologies”, she emphasised. Expressing concern about violence against gals, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, among the other individuals, she mentioned it is intolerable that more than 250 ex‑combatants — signatories to the peace accord — have been killed since its signing. Protection strategies need to be strengthened, the Countrywide Fee on Stability Guarantees enabled to finalize a coverage for dismantling unlawful armed groups, and the ability of the Lawyer General’s Exclusive Investigative Unit enhanced, she stressed.

The consultant of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, talking also for Kenya, Niger and Tunisia — regarded collectively as the “A3+1” — expressed intense concern more than the dire security circumstances confronting previous combatants, ladies social leaders and human rights defenders, and indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders. She strongly condemned the killing of 25 previous combatants whilst awaiting a response to their requests for defense, stressing that “the biggest risk to implementation of the Final Settlement stays the incessant violence versus all those who laid down their arms in very good faith”. The brings about of conflict need to be tackled and the perpetrators of violence held accountable, she stated, reiterating the contact for normal conferences of the Nationwide Fee on Stability Assures and improved implementation of the Action Approach of the In depth Programme for the Safeguard of Ladies Leaders and Human Rights Defenders. She went on to advocate for a peace procedure that involves indigenous peoples and Afro‑Colombians, encouraging the Authorities to resolve the troubles experiencing 9,500 previous combatants residing exterior the previous Territorial Regions for Coaching and Reintegration. The “A3+1” will continue to aid all initiatives to consolidate peace, she mentioned, expressing hope that the Governing administration and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) will engage in constructive dialogue for lasting peace.

The agent of Ireland, although citing the invest in of land for housing and successful projects for previous combatants amongst major gains, however expressed major worry about ongoing violence, emphasizing the vital need to have to protect previous combatants, these living in conflict-impacted communities, social leaders and human legal rights defenders. She also expressed deep worry about studies of compelled recruitment of young children and threats against youth leaders by unlawful armed groups and terrorist businesses. On transitional justice, she said verification of compliance with sentences handed down by the Specific Jurisdiction for Peace will assist to establish have confidence in in the procedure, pointing out a lot more broadly that Colombia’s peace agreement is an exemplary product for gender-inclusive and -responsive peacebuilding. Sufficient means — specialized and financial — ought to be allocated to the Nationwide Reintegration Council’s Doing the job Group on Gender, and the Government’s Superior-Degree Forum on Gender, she stressed.

The consultant of Mexico advised further psychosocial solutions to assist overcome the psychological wounds of the past. Emphasizing the crucial will need to consist of youthful men and women and women in the peacebuilding approach, he condemned attacks against previous combatants and vulnerable communities, and the recruitment of youngsters. Turning to the existence of armed groups and arranged legal organizations, he pressured that the worldwide local community have to lend its guidance, such as by encouraging to stem the circulation of unlawful weapons.

The consultant of China, describing Colombia as a “success story”, mentioned that making certain balance is important. Expressing regret to take note continuing “chronic” attacks against men and women, he emphasized the will need to greatly enhance stability and step up attempts to discover armed groups. China also encourages the Governing administration to raise investments with a see to laying a solid foundation of peace and protection by means of improvement, he reported, noting that Colombia’s initiatives to fortify infrastructure and services are making tangible success. But, utilizing the Peace Settlement is a extended method, he cautioned, pledging China’s guidance for the Unique Consultant and the Verification Mission.

The agent of Estonia, stated that continued engagement with all parties is critical to further more development, in particular offered the terrific impact of COVID-19. Whilst land reform initiatives and services for former combatants are laudable, protection troubles remain a concern amid the latest rash of killings, he noted, urging the Governing administration to make certain that perpetrators are introduced to justice and to tackle the threats going through indigenous peoples, females and other teams. Emphasizing that 2021 will be a essential yr, he explained that he looks ahead to the initial choices to be handed down by the Particular Court for Peace and to the forthcoming report from the Countrywide Council for Peace, Reconciliation and Coexistence.

The agent of France called for perpetrators of violence to be introduced to justice and for a refocus on strengthening the rule of law. Whilst reintegration endeavours are bearing fruit, additional notice is required to reach former combatants living outdoors designated zones, she explained, adding that land reform and attempts to increase options for farmers need to continue.

The representative of the United States, pointing to the magnitude of the peace accord and its profound effect on culture, explained “Colombia has witnessed a substantial nationwide lessen in violence”, which is “no modest accomplishment”. Nevertheless, because the signing of the accord, hundreds of human rights leaders, social leaders and former combatants have been killed, with indigenous, Afro-Colombians and LGBTI men and women amongst all those most affected, he mentioned. The assaults have been concentrated in rural areas, marked by a minimal Point out existence, illicit economies and armed actors. The violence has a direct effect on the reintegration approach and implementation of the Peace Arrangement, he stated, emphasizing: “It should end.” Applauding the President’s assembly with previous combatants, and strengthened protection steps as essential techniques forward, he urged the authorities to increase the State’s existence in rural locations and to keep the perpetrators of violence accountable. Transitional justice is at the heart of the peace procedure and will be central to achievement, he pressured, praising modern endeavours to assure the legal rights of victims and guidance the provision of reparations. He urged all events to participate entirely in truth of the matter and reconciliation attempts and to make sure accountability “so that Colombia can heal”.

The consultant of Viet Nam identified as upon the events to engage in constructive dialogue to tackle their distinctions by way of the mechanisms established below the Peace Settlement, noting that every single hard work should really be made to build favourable conditions for the 2022 elections. On the stability entrance, she urged the Nationwide Commission on Security Assures to dismantle unlawful armed groups and to improve the software of justice. The events really should also make entire use of the security assures and mechanisms offered by the Peace Arrangement, she stated. Describing reintegration as a very long-time period approach necessitating persistence, political will and practical steps, she identified as for steps to encourage financial and inclusive progress, social cohesion and rural advancement, between other actions.

The representative of India famous that implementation of the Peace Arrangement has acquired ground in the last four months, as the authorities have engaged with previous FARC combatants to deal with reintegration challenges, adding that the invest in of land for previous combatants has gained momentum, and the Countrywide Reintegration Council has held classes at the regional stage. At the identical time, the gap between city and rural locations in Condition presence should be addressed, he reported, emphasizing that the latest killing of former combatants, social leaders and human legal rights defenders necessitates strengthening of the Tripartite Security and Protection Mechanism. Enacting holistic rural reforms, producing enabling infrastructure, and reintegrating ex-combatants are among other attempts required to discourage FARC-EP dissident groups, he claimed, introducing that India seems forward to working with other Council members to renew the Verification Mission’s mandate.

The representative of the Russian Federation, emphasizing that the great importance of applying the Colombia’s highway map unswervingly, mentioned that the Secretary-General’s five tips — covering all spots of the peace agreement — mirror shortcomings. He cited new demonstrations by indigenous peoples, stories of assaults focusing on civic leaders and claims that element of the populace is returning to illegal armed teams, he stressed the need for progress on rural reform and dealing with the drug difficulty. In addition, funding has not been fully supplied for the peace method, he mentioned. Whilst Council users are aware that direct dialogue is an integral section of any long lasting settlement, delays in utilizing the Peace Settlement are the end result of tries to revise the doc, he said. Requesting added data on disaggregated details, social challenges and the protection of family members and small children whose breadwinner has been involved in the conflict, he said data is also required on beating discord amid the parties, which should really all be concerned in the peace method. He went on to recall that the Russian Federation wished to offer assistance for hurricane‑affected nations, but Citibank of the United States refused to transfer the cash and just returned them to Moscow. The scenario is impeding assistance for those people in will need, he reported, pointing out that sanctions and other such measures are having a damaging effect on States hoping to get well from COVID-19 or pure disasters.

Claudia Blum de Barberi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, spotlighted basic safety and stability as her country’s largest remaining challenges, citing the threats posed by armed groups and drug traffickers. In 2020, the Authorities released extra than 200 schemes to secure previous combatants, she recalled, noting that 24 sentences had been handed down, 40 conditions are beneath investigation and 48 arrest warrants were being issued. Procedures for dismantling legal businesses have been adopted, she extra.

Even so, it was not predicted that public procedures would be expected to guard civilians towards illicit businesses, she claimed, pointing out nevertheless that more than 400 drug traffickers have been detained. Detailing further more progress, she claimed the territory-concentrated advancement strategy has built gains masking just one 3rd of Colombia’s territory, in which far more than 7 million people are living. A $52 million investment decision in housing has achieved a lot of communities and a 15‑year-prolonged road map is currently being executed, she mentioned, emphasizing the essential require to maintain all those and other attempts, particularly amid the worries posed by COVID-19.

Nevertheless, a detailed method to progress requirements is also advancing, and the Government has set aside $4.2 million to acquire plots of land in recognition of similar possession issues among previous combatants, she mentioned. Dialogue, strengthening reintegration, gals and gender are among the Government’s priorities, she ongoing. Reparations for victims have surpassed $498 million and even further investments have been made in the justice process, she mentioned. Recalling President Duque’s ask for that the Security Council broaden the Verification Mission’s mandate to deal with progress in people places, she underlined her country’s critical will need for the international community’s help as Colombia continues to forge in advance.