The United Nations emphasizes the importance of making progress in peacebuilding initiatives in Colombia.
Introducing the most recent quarterly report from the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, which encompasses the timeframe of September 27 to December 26, 2023, he conveyed optimism that this year will mark a significant step towards achieving peace.
He stated that even though there are numerous difficult obstacles in the way of ending a 60-year long armed conflict, it is a great honor and chance for the United Nations to aid the Colombian Government and citizens in their efforts towards achieving lasting peace.
Speed up commitment
Mr. Ruiz Massieu stated that the previous year provided proof of the strong connections between the execution of the peace agreement and efforts made by the government to engage in conversations with other militant organizations.
He emphasized the importance of progressing with these processes and highlighted the potential to accelerate commitments regarding ethnic matters and land reform.
He stated that converting the highly anticipated public policy for disbanding illegal armed groups and criminal organizations into impactful actions that will have a noticeable impact on the communities will be a crucial step in the essential process of moving from planning to execution.
Violent assaults against cultural groups
The speaker emphasized the importance of security in creating successful peace initiatives. However, they expressed concern over recent events, such as the death of four FARC-EP members. They also denounced the unjustifiable violence against indigenous communities and individuals asserting their right to land.
He stated that the situation in certain areas of Cauca department, where there is a high number of indigenous and Afro-Colombian inhabitants, is especially difficult due to the presence and activities of different armed groups.
“The presence of the State is crucial in these particular areas to effectively mitigate and control acts of violence.”
Commitment to peace
I am inspired by the ongoing dedication to peace from the majority of former FARC-EP members. I am confident that the Government’s actions, including the implementation of a new reintegration program, will effectively address their needs and fulfill their expectations.
According to Mr. Ruiz Massieu, there has been “positive progress” in the communication between the Government and the last major rebel group, ELN. Additionally, there have been developments such as their mutual ceasefire that started in August.
He also expressed satisfaction with the advancements made in the communication between the government and the self-proclaimed EMC FARC-EP. In October, both parties agreed to a mutual pause in hostilities, which has generated a vital sense of confidence to move forward with the process.