On Wednesday, the United Nations Envoy for Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, said that success in the peace process depends on President Gustavo Petro's efforts to curb violence.
"There is a fundamental reality that has to be acknowledged. The lasting success of the Colombian peace agreement, which we all wish to see, is contingent on the ability of the Colombian authorities to address the persistent violence that poses its greatest threat," he told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a quarterly briefing.
"The government is making an admirable effort to do so, in part, through differentiated dialogues with the illegal armed groups aimed at ending the violence," he stressed.
"If these dialogues are successful, this would greatly contribute to generating the security conditions necessary for the different provisions of the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to materialize."
���� @FranciaMarquezM, an environmental activist who became the 1st Black woman vice president of Colombia against all odds, added that “regardless, we won’t stop working every day, day after day, until we achieve Total Peace that Colombia dreams of & needs”https://t.co/V01Q7UKg8F— Peoples Dispatch (@peoplesdispatch) January 11, 2023
The effective implementation of the 2016 agreement in itself would bring about the transformations required for lasting peace to take root.
"While pressing forward with the implementation of the 2016 agreement, government engagement with illegal armed actors has continued in the framework of its 'Total Peace' policy," said Ruiz Massieu.
Last month the government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) concluded the first round of peace dialogues in Venezuela amid a constructive environment. They plan to hold a new round in Mexico in the coming weeks.
"The parties' decision to reinitiate discussions is widely supported in Colombian society and is valued especially by communities affected by the conflict in several regions," he said.
#Colombia | France welcomes the clear commitment and recent initiatives taken by the Colombian authorities, through their "total peace" policy, to implement the Peace Agreement in a comprehensive manner. France encourages Colombia to continue along this path. https://t.co/1cMlTPWN9b— La France à l'ONU �������� (@franceonu) January 11, 2023
"The parties' decision to reinitiate discussions is widely supported in Colombian society and is valued especially by communities affected by the conflict in several regions," Ruiz Massieu pointed out.
The New Year began with a hopeful announcement by President Petro of six-month cease-fires with several illegal armed actors operating in various areas across the country.
"If carefully designed and carried out with commitment, these de-escalation measures agreed with armed groups can help to significantly reduce violence and suffering of conflict-affected communities while building trust in ongoing dialogues."
On Wednesday, the UNSC authorized the expansion of the UN Verification Mission's mandate to include the 2016 agreement's comprehensive rural reform and the ethnic chapters in its verification tasks will enable the mission to increase its contribution to peace in Colombia.
"There are plentiful opportunities ahead for peacebuilding in Colombia. The role of the United Nations and the solid support of this (Security) Council remain as important as ever," Ruiz Massieu said.