We thank Mr Massieu for his briefing. Congratulations to President Gustavo Petro, represented here today by Foreign Minister Leyva, on his election victory. A warm welcome to you, Foreign Minister.
Let me also thank the briefers for their valuable insights.
As a former Minister of Equality, I would first like to commend Colombia for taking a major step towards greater inclusivity. A cabinet with gender parity is a sign of a Government that takes equality seriously.
Women’s representation in Congress is equally encouraging- where one out of three members are now women.
We also celebrate the first meeting of the CSIVI. The new Government and the representatives of the former FARC-EP renewed their unconditional commitment to the Peace Agreement.
This and the other bilateral arenas for dialogue must be used effectively. They are crucial to the successful implementation of the Peace Agreement.
Peace is at the top of President Petro’s agenda. His flagship policy ‘total peace’ is ambitious. Yet, achieving nationwide peace and security is long overdue.
Norway remains fully committed to the Colombian peace process. We remain a guarantor country in the implementation of the 2016 peace accord.
And we have been asked to continue in the negotiations with the ELN. I would like to commend the Government for moving quickly to re-engage with the ELN, and not least for working closely with Cuba.
‘Total peace’ is a tall order. It will be complicated. It will take time. And it will call for different approaches and methods than we are used to.
But we stand ready to assist in the Government’s effort to promote dialogue and the disarmament of other armed groups, if so requested.
Land reform and access to land are key to a peaceful and prosperous Colombia. I am pleased to see that the Government is working hard to find just and sustainable solutions to the root causes of the conflict.
International support has proven to be essential for the implementation of the agreement. I applaud the US for recently taking on a special role in the implementation of the ethnic chapter of the accord.
It is an important job; much still needs to be done on questions where ethnicity is a factor.
Colombia’s transitional justice system continues to impress us. The Truth Commission’s final report contains important recommendations. I am pleased to see that the Government is taking these seriously.
We commend also the Government for convening the National Commission for Security Guarantees. This Commission has the potential to address the root causes of violence.
This would in turn improve security conditions for human rights defenders and former combatants.
This is vital given the dire security situation of these groups. More than 340 former FARC soldiers have lost their lives since 2016. This cannot continue.
A specific focus on the challenges faced by women human rights defenders is also needed.
And I echo the Secretary-General in urging full implementation of the Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders.
Likewise, we call upon all parties to uphold their obligations under international law and to implement the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in Colombia.
Council members must agree on a renewal of the mandate that will enable the UN mission to continue its support for peace and stability in Colombia.
Norway remains committed to working with Colombia to secure lasting peace.