We thank SRSG Ruiz Massieu for his briefing. We also thank Bibiana Peñaranda and Daniela Soto for their statements. To Vice president Ramírez: thank you so much for being here today.
In just six weeks we will celebrate the five-year anniversary of the peace accord. The accord put an end to 52 years of violent conflict with the FARC-EP guerrilla. This achievement was the result of strong commitment by the parties; backed up by robust Colombian civil society; and wholeheartedly supported by the international community. Indeed, its comprehensive, steady, and successful implementation remains a priority for the Security Council today.
Implementing a peace agreement takes time. Yet, much has been accomplished, including progress in the reintegration of former combatants.
We are nevertheless troubled that the Comptroller-General’s Office indicates that at this pace, it will take 26 years to fully implement the accord – not the 15 years agreed upon. We urge Colombia to accelerate implementation, while making sure it is done in a wholistic manner.
The current high levels of violence - causing mass displacement - represent the biggest threat to the agreement. And the number of human rights defenders, social leaders and former FARC combatants killed is staggering. This leads to insecurity, and undermines people’s faith in the agreement.
Additional efforts must be made to improve the security situation. A particular focus must be given to the 25 municipalities where most of the violence occurs, especially indigenous communities.
A main objective of the accord is to replace violence with political participation. Colombia has taken significant steps in that direction. An important hurdle was passed when the law creating the 16 special transitional electoral districts for peace was enacted.
As we approach the 2022 elections, considerable efforts must be made to avoid political violence. Including against the candidates for the 16 special seats who are at particular risk.
The implementation of the ‘Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics’ - as stipulated in the Agreement - would be a significant step. We hope the political parties can, once again, rally around a platform of non-violence. People taking to the streets to peacefully protest, is a legitimate expression of political participation – and must be respected - not met with disproportionate use of force.
An inclusive political dialogue requires the participation of community leaders, civil society, and human rights defenders.
We know that Women, Peace and Security is a high priority for Colombia. We acknowledge the work undertaken to ensure women's full, equal, and meaningful participation, and encourage even more resources be allocated to strengthen security guarantees for women: human rights defenders, ex-combatants, and social leaders.
Providing dignified living conditions for former combatants is imperative. Making sure that the signatories to the agreement are able to provide food and adequate housing for themselves and their families is of utmost importance.
We are pleased to learn that steps are being taken to overcome differences.
We encourage both parties to make the best possible use of the various formal and informal spaces created by the agreement, not least the CNR and the CSIVI.
We are again pleased to highlight the progress made by the Integrated System for Transitional Justice. The Truth Commission provides an invaluable space for truth telling and encounters between victims and perpetrators. Granting the commission another seven months of operations will provide valuable time to comply with its mandate. Hopefully, its report will serve to heal wounds, and become a point of departure toward a peaceful future.
To Vice president Ramírez: thank you so much for being here today. Please rest assured that Norway remains committed to accompany Colombia in your efforts to ensure the peace agreement is comprehensively implemented.