Press Release on the Quarterly Report of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Security Council on the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia S / 2021/824 – Colombia
Bogota, September 30, 2021. “The fifth anniversary approaching the signing of the Final Accord should be an opportune time to take stock of its main achievements and to renew a collective commitment to build on them, while striving to overcome challenges. outstanding challenges to its implementation, ”the United States said. UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlines this in his latest report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, which covers the period from June 26 to September 24, 2021.
Among the achievements of the Peace Agreement after five years of implementation, the Secretary-General mentions the successful ceasefire and the deposition of weapons by ex-combatants, which enabled them to participate in democracy . It also notes that the Accord has enabled communities to participate in the design of development plans and alternatives to illicit economies, and has incorporated an unprecedented approach to gender issues in peace processes. He also created a new transitional justice system that defends the rights of victims and demonstrates that peace and justice do not necessarily have to be in conflict. In addition, the Secretary-General underlines as an important step in the implementation of the Peace Agreement, the creation of 16 special transitional electoral districts for peace, which will allow populations historically excluded from regions affected by the conflict to participate. in Congress.
The Secretary-General stresses that, while the Colombian peace process continues to be a source of inspiration for the world, the parties, Colombian society and the international community must not overlook the daunting challenges and risk factors facing its consolidation. long term is still facing. The main one is violence in several regions of the country. Violence against ex-combatants, social leaders and human rights defenders continues to be concentrated in 25 municipalities across the country, mainly located in priority areas for the implementation of the Accord, according to the report.
During this period, the report records the killings of 14 former FARC-EP combatants (all men), bringing the total to 292 (nine women) since the signing of the Agreement. The Mission observed a significant deterioration in the security of ex-combatants in Cauca, Nariño and Valle del Cauca, departments which have concentrated more than a third of the killings since the signing of the Accord.
In addition, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights received information on the killings of 43 human rights defenders, for a total of 158 killings in 2021. In addition, 11 massacres were documented, making 38 victims (16 others are being verified).
The report also notes that the persistence of violence continues to generate massive displacement and lockdowns, particularly in the departments of Antioquia, Bolívar, Cauca, Chocó, Córdoba and Nariño, particularly affecting indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
In this regard, the Secretary-General notes that the various provisions of the Agreement on Security Guarantees have the potential to prevent and respond to what remains the greatest threat to the rule of law; and underlines the importance of strengthening the integrated presence of the state to combat violence. In addition, the Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to all institutions to act on the recommendations of the early warnings of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Regarding the reintegration process, the Secretary-General underlines the progress made despite the current challenges. “Due to the determination of the parties and their mutual understanding of the importance of laying the foundations for the process, we are now witnessing results which deserve to be preserved and reinforced. During this period, the National Reintegration Council approved 9 collective productive projects, bringing the total to 99. In addition, the Reintegration and Standardization Agency approved 481 individual projects, bringing the total to 3,190. To date, 7,327 ex-combatants benefit from productive projects, which represents 54% of the 13,608 accredited ex-combatants.
The government purchased land for two additional old TATRs in the departments of La Guajira and Caquetá. To date, the government has purchased land for nine of the 24 former TATRs. “I urge the Government to spare no effort to accelerate the access of ex-combatants to land and housing, and to allow a safe environment in the areas where their individual and collective reintegration is taking place,” said the Secretary-General. .
The report also underlines the fundamental role of the transitional justice system. The Secretary-General particularly commends the work of the Truth Commission, welcomes the significant progress made by the Special Court for Peace in the publication of its first two indictments in Case 03, and underlines the work of the Unit Search for Missing Persons, which handed over 123 bodies of missing persons to their families. “For the Global System to continue its work, I reiterate my call on all Colombians to support, respect and contribute to its efforts, and I urge the government to provide the necessary resources,” said the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General’s report will be presented by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, to the United Nations Security Council on October 14, 2021.
Download the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. S / 2021/824
Download the Secretary-General’s infographic report on the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia. S / 2021/824