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SC: Colombia

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Trine Heimerback in the UN Security Council meeting on Colombia, 21 April 2021.

We thank Special Representative Massieu for another informative brief. We also thank the Secretary-General for his report, and fully support the recommendations made.

I would like to start by congratulating President Ivan Duque and Rodrigo Londoño, leader of the former FARC-EP, for their commitment to the peace process, as demonstrated by their meeting in March. Both of them recognising the need for comprehensive and integral implementation was encouraging and timely. Norway firmly believes that more dialogue between the parties will significantly enhance implementation, reduce polarisation, and build confidence.  

We strongly urge the parties to make better use of the formal and informal spaces established in the institutional architecture of the Agreement. Indeed, the ‘Commission for the Follow-up, Promotion, and Verification of the Final Agreement (CSIVI)’ remains the principal mechanism for resolving challenges and obstacles to implementation- including on security issues.

We encourage the parties to conduct more meetings of the ‘National Re-incorporation Commission’. And Norway welcomes the progress made in the ‘Tripartite Working Group on Demining’. We also urge the parties, and the UN, to re-stablish the tripartite mechanism regarding conflict related assets.

President,

Today, more than any other issue, the targeted threats, violence, and killings, of former combatants, social leaders and human rights defenders, including women leaders and representatives of ethnic communities, represents a serious threat to the peace agreement.

It is with great regret that we now count 265 ex-combatants- signatories to the Peace Agreement- killed since the Accord entered into force. Along with 24 human rights defenders, and social leaders, killed just during this last reporting period. In some regions, communities also suffer from forced displacements, deployment of anti-personnel mines, and increased recruitment of children by armed groups.

In this light, State presence in all parts of the country, and a comprehensive implementation of the Agreement are essential to overcome the conditions underpinning violence, and to ensure protection of civilians. While we recognise the efforts by the authorities to improve the security situation, the numbers speak for themselves.

More needs to be done to prevent, protect, and ensure accountability for these horrific crimes.  It is urgent to implement the ‘Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics’; including the decree 660 on community protection, and to provide sufficient support to the ‘Special Investigations Unit of the Attorney-General’s Office’.

President,

Gender-based violence also continues to hamper the reintegration of women ex-combatants and disrupts the vital work of women leaders and human rights defenders.

To guarantee their security, and their equal and meaningful participation, it is crucial that the gender provisions in the Agreement are fully implemented, together with ‘the Comprehensive Programme for the Safeguards of Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders’.

President,

We must take seriously the reports that victims and alleged perpetrators do not feel that they can contribute to the ‘Integrated System for Truth, Justice, Reparations and Non-Repetition’ without risking their lives. This is concerning and may jeopardize victims’ access to truth and reparation. The ‘Special Jurisdiction for Peace’ has ordered governmental agencies to ensure the protection of those appearing before the court.

Compliance is essential for the implementation of article 3.4 of the Agreement, and to meet the demands of victims.

President,

The progress made by the ‘Special Jurisdiction for Peace’ on macro cases 1, and 3, represent a milestone in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Norway urges all actors to contribute fully to the Integrated System, to recognise their responsibilities, and to tell the whole truth. The importance of the Integrated System being able to carry out its work independently, without political interference, and without risking the lives of those who contribute, cannot be overstated.

 

 

In closing President,

Let there be no doubt that Norway remains committed to working with the Colombian people and the parties, in their efforts towards lasting peace.