UN mission highlights the Duque government's support for the peace agreement

UN mission highlights the Duque government's support for the peace agreement



The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, today highlighted the support that the Government of the Colombian President, Iván Duque, has given to the implementation of the peace agreement signed with the guerrilla of the FARC, now converted into a political party.

This was stated by Guterres in the quarterly report submitted to the UN Security Council on the operation of the Verification Mission in Colombia, released today in Bogotá.

"The report recognizes that during the first 100 days of his government, President Iván Duque repeatedly expressed his willingness to continue with the peace process within the framework of a broader government program focused on equity, legality and entrepreneurship, "reads the document.

Similarly, the text states that the Duque administration has prepared the "Peace with legality" plan to have a greater presence in the state in areas affected by the conflict, which was considered one of the main challenges in previous reports.

"The 'Peace with legality' plan (…) promises a broad and articulated effort to stabilize and develop the areas most affected by the conflict, including the commitments made with the victims, the communities involved in the voluntary substitution of illicit crops and the reincorporated, "he added.

The previous Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas signed a peace agreement in November 2016 after more than four years of negotiations in Havana.

Despite advances in the implementation of the agreement, the UN reiterated its "great concern" for the murder of social leaders and human rights defenders.

According to figures from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited in the text, in Colombia since the signing of the peace agreement 163 killings of social leaders and human rights defenders have been reported, and it has been reported that a total of 454 cases.

Likewise, it is concerned about the "homicide of 14 former members of the FARC," which resulted in 85 demobilized murdered since November 2016.

Before the report, the Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "a more positive tone is evident in recognizing the will, progress and measures" adopted by the Government for the implementation of the agreement.

"It is of great importance that the Secretary General, through the report, endorses the 'Peace with Legality' plan designed by the Office of the High Counselor for the Post-Conflict, which seeks to bring stability, security and development to the affected areas through the implementation of Development Plans with a Territorial Approach, "the statement added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that Guterres has acknowledged that the Duque government inherited a great responsibility regarding the implementation of the agreement, which had "precarious advances".

The UN also spoke about the suspended peace dialogues between the government and the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and described as "very important" that the communication channels between the two parties be kept open.

The Government and the ELN negotiate a peace agreement since February 2017, but the talks are suspended and President Duque has subordinated the dialogues to that guerrilla group ending their criminal activities, especially kidnapping.

"The Secretary General reiterates that the United Nations, through the Mission and the United Nations System in Colombia, will follow closely and offer their support for the implementation, including the efforts of the new Government to inject greater vigor and viability into the reincorporation socioeconomic status of ex-combatants, "the report concludes.

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