We thank SRSG Ruiz Massieu for his briefing. We are also pleased to hear from you Luz Marina Giraldo. You have provided the Council with valuable first-hand testimony on key issues related to implementation of the peace accord. I also welcome Emilio Archila, Colombian Presidential Counsellor for joining us today.
Allow me to start by congratulating the parties and the UN, for the historic commemoration of the five-year anniversary of the peace accord. The events showed the support the accord enjoys in Colombia, and served to further consolidate its position nationally, and internationally.
Women, peace, and security is a priority we share with Colombia. Implementing the Agreement’s gender provisions is essential to ensuring lasting peace. We acknowledge the work done, and encourage the parties to step up efforts to ensure women's full, equal, and meaningful participation. We remain troubled by the high levels of violence suffered by: ethnic communities, human rights defenders, social leaders, and former FARC combatants.
We strongly condemn the recent killings of human rights defenders Luz Marina Arteaga, and 14-year old Breiner David Cucuñame. This sadly once again demonstrates the need for enhanced security guarantees.While the number of ex-combatants killed has reduced compared to the previous reporting period, no effort must be spared to sustain and reinforce this trend. Violence undermines people’s faith in the agreement.
I would also like to draw the Council’s attention to the security situation during the upcoming elections. We are especially concerned about the candidates running for the 16 seats allocated to the victims. And we call on the Government to implement their prevention and protection strategies to guarantee safe elections.
We are pleased that the parties are taking steps to make better use of the ‘Commission for Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Agreement’. And we encourage the Commission to engage frequently with other entities like the ‘Special Instance on Women and the Special Instance on Ethnic Affairs’. Likewise, we are pleased to learn that the number of former combatants who participate in productive projects increases steadily; and of the efforts made to ensure the sustainability of these initiatives.
Furthermore, we encourage the parties to make more effective use of the ‘National Commission for Reincorporation’ to reach agreement on key issues such as access to land, and adequate housing. We also urge the Colombian Government to continue its efforts aimed at guaranteeing the effective reintegration of young adults.
‘The Special Jurisdiction for Peace’ also continues to make progress. And the recent recognition by members of the Armed Forces for their responsibilities for crimes committed during the conflict is an important step forward. One essential for the victims.
Similarly, we are pleased that the UN Mission, and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, have agreed on the composition, objectives, and functions of the ‘Monitoring and Verification Mechanism’ in order for the restorative sentences to be issued. This is vital for the legitimacy of the special jurisdiction. We would also like to commend the SJP for its special focus on children.
In his observations, the Secretary-General reiterates his call on the government to spare no effort in comprehensively implementing the agreement. He calls it a missed opportunity if we fail to unleash the agreement’s transformative potential, and overcome the deep-rooted factors underlying Colombia’s cycles of violence.We could not agree more.
Please rest assured that Norway remains committed to accompany Colombia in your efforts to ensure the peace agreement is comprehensively implemented.