We would like to warmly welcome Her Excellency Ms. Ramirez, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, to this meeting.
We thank SRSG Massieu and Ms. Herrera for their informative briefing.
It is encouraging to witness positive and remarkable progress in Colombia since the conclusion of the Final Peace Agreement in 2016. The Government has made great efforts in promoting socio-economic developments, including a comprehensive rural reform. The reintegration process has also been expanded at all levels.
We, however, remain concerned that the terms of the Agreement have not been fully implemented. As a result, the reintegration, like other processes, is still facing multiple challenges.
Against this background, we would like to stress the following points:
First, the political will and determination of all related parties in conducting the next steps of the Final Peace Agreement are extremely important for Colombia in the way forward.
In this regard, we commend the decision made by the Government of Colombia and the Commons Party to conduct a joint assessment of a roadmap to support the participation of former combatants in the reintegration process. We also acknowledge other commitments of the Government to advance the reintegration process, including the provision of protection and security for former combatants. We hope to see the National Reintegration Council (NRC), together with the United Nations, regional and international organizations, playing more active role in supporting the financial mechanisms and recommending appropriate initiatives to assist former combatants in stabilizing their lives.
We call on all relevant parties to continue engaging in constructive dialogue, at political and technical levels, especially through the mechanisms provided by the Agreement, with a view to bringing about reconciliation, solidarity and progress for all. While efforts aimed at reintegration are highly appreciated, it is also important to note that this process will be a long-term one requiring patience as well as practical steps.
Second, we share the concerns expressed in the latest report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement and the peace-related programs in Colombia, especially the nationwide demonstrations and associated violence. We look forward to continued efforts made by the Government of Colombia, national political parties and other relevant stakeholders in implementing all measures needed to address the root causes of instability, including the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities, security and economic issues. We also support the commitments made by the Government and their partners in addressing the specific needs and roles of women, children and youth in this process. Third, we are once again concerned about violence and the continued killings of the social leaders and former combatants. At the same time, we also condemn the unacceptable recent attack on 25 June against a helicopter with the President of Columbia on board. We condemn all these forms of violence and attacks and urge all concerned groups to stop these appalling acts immediately. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.
We call upon the relevant parties to implement necessary measures and make full use of the security guarantee mechanisms elaborated in the Final Peace Agreement to protect civilians in the conflict-affected areas, especially women and children. In this regard, it is also important to redouble efforts in ensuring security and bringing development to conflict-affected communities through practical measures. It is through the well-being of these communities that the value of peace and reintegration is proved and maintained.
In conclusion, we would like to reiterate our strong support for the process of peace, security, national reconciliation, national unity and development in Colombia as well as the role of the United Nations Verification Mission toward this end.
I thank you!