The peace agreement in Colombia is very much alive [fr]
Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 10 October 2019
At the outset, I wish to thank the speakers and welcome the presence with us of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
The Security Council has regularly stressed that the Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace represents an unprecedented and courageous path towards building peace and national reconciliation in Colombia. The Council has been united in supporting this collective effort, including by establishing the United Nations Verification Mission, led by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, whose work I commend. Given the challenges facing peacebuilding, we must, more than ever, continue to support the rigorous approach chosen by the Colombian Government, the former members of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) and civil society in building lasting peace. I wish to focus on the following several points.
The reactions to the announcement, which France condemned, on 29 August by former FARC commanders that they would rearm paradoxically showed that the peace agreement is very much alive.
Indeed, the Colombian Government, the FARC party, other political parties and civil society alike strongly rejected that announcement and reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement. Individual choices to return to violence will not undermine the collective process of building peace.
The security situation in former conflict zones remains a priority, given the high number of killings of social leaders, human rights defenders, FARC ex-combatants and political candidates, especially in the context of the local elections on 27 October. France condemns those killings. In that regard, France welcomes the adoption, on 26 August, of the National Pact for Political Culture and Non-Violence during the Electoral Campaign. We encourage the authorities to step up their efforts to provide all the necessary guarantees to men and women engaging in politics or human rights activism.
Faced with these challenges, the solution is to further strengthen the implementation of all components of the agreement. With regard to the economic and social reintegration of former combatants, significant progress has been made and must be continued. The peace agreement also includes ambitious provisions on rural reform, political reform, substitution of illicit crops, as well as crosscutting provisions in favour of women and ethnic minorities. Their comprehensive implementation is key for building peace in the long term. The monitoring mechanisms provided for in the agreement should also be used. The institutions of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition must be able to carry out their work, which is essential to prospects for lasting peace, in an atmosphere of calm.
In conclusion, we are fully aware of the challenge the migration crisis poses to Colombia. In that regard, I wish to commend the generosity of the Colombian Government and people in welcoming the migrants, with the support of the international community. Given these various challenges, I would like to assure the Government and the people of Colombia of France’s support and readiness, together with our partners in the European Union, to continue supporting them on the exacting road the peace.