It has been almost four years since the peace agreement was reached. [fr]
STATEMENT BY MS. SHERAZ GASRI, POLITICAL COORDINATOR AT THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATION OF FRANCE TO THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL - OCTOBER 14, 2020
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General Carlos Ruiz Massieu for his enlightening presentation. I welcome the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.
It has been almost four years since the peace agreement was reached. Much has been achieved thanks to the efforts of the Colombian government and people. We must welcome it. We must also recognize with lucidity that, with regard to the ambition of 2016, a number of provisions of the agreement are still insufficiently implemented. The peace agreement is a package whose various components are inseparable. I will come back to four specific issues.
First, we regret the continuing violence in Colombia. We condemn the multiple assassinations that have taken place in recent months, including those of children and young people, but also those of former combatants, civil society leaders and human rights defenders. No effort must be spared to put an end to it and bring those responsible to justice. As the Secretary-General’s report points out, simple measures can be taken quickly. Better use must be made of the early warning system under the Office of the Ombudsman. And the National Commission on Security Guarantees should be encouraged to finalize a public policy for the dismantling of criminal organizations. In the long term, it is imperative to strengthen the State’s presence throughout the country, including in the most remote areas.
Secondly, France wishes to recognize the efforts that have been made in recent months to reintegrate former combatants, despite the pandemic and the impact of confinement on productive projects. These efforts must continue, with a focus on ex-combatants residing outside the former territorial training and reintegration zones. It is also important to overcome the long-standing issue of access to land.
Thirdly, the comprehensive system for truth, justice, reparations and non-repetition is a cornerstone of the peace agreement, as we have regularly stressed in this Council. We would like the verification mission to contribute to the verification of the implementation of the sanctions of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. We stand ready to entrust it with that role when Colombians request it.
Finally, another area in which further progress is expected is the illicit crop substitution program, which represents an immense hope for thousands of families. It is crucial that this program obtain the necessary resources, especially to finance alternative productive projects, which are a prerequisite for its long-term success. The chapters of the agreement dealing with ethnic and gender issues must also receive special attention.
The peace process in Colombia faces challenges that we do not ignore. France, in its national capacity, within the Security Council and the European Union, will continue to give its full support to all those in Colombia who are mobilized daily to meet these challenges.