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Statement on Colombia

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing to the UN Security Council on the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia

Thank you, Mr. President.

I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Ruiz Massieu, and Mrs. Perea Mosquera for their briefings.

I also join the other Council Members in extending the warmest welcome to His Excellency Mr. Leyva Durán.  

At the outset, allow me to express our unequivocal support for the work of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.

We additionally welcome the SRSG’s continuous efforts in providing good offices in the resolve of the parties in Colombia to prioritize dialogue.

Mr. President,

In the commemoration of the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Final Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the former FARC-EP, our overarching priority remains the continuation of the support for its full and successful implementation.

We commend the encouraging progress in the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, particularly in advancing a comprehensive rural reform, as well as recognize the progress in the implementation of the agreements between the Government and the ELN.

Having said that, we express concerns over the persistent violent attacks by armed and criminal groups that continue to have a severe impact on communities, in particular Afro-Colombian and Indigenous, and impede implementation of some of the key aspects of the Final Peace Agreement such as its ethnic chapter.

We encourage the deployment by the Government of an integrated presence of State institutions and services, including in conflict-affected areas, in order to eradicate conflict drivers and prevent violence.

Particularly worrisome is the increase of the multiple forms of violence against women, some of them local actors whose active participation is pivotal to the sustainable peace process in Colombia.

Effectively preventing, addressing and combating such violence as well as adopting a survivor-centred approach is imperative in delivering the gender-related provisions of the Final Peace Agreement.

To this end, we laud the opening of Case 11 by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace focusing on gender-based, sexual, and reproductive violence.

We additionally appreciate the reactivation of the Government’s High-Level Forum on Gender and the development of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Full, equal, safe and meaningful participation of women remains essential in this regard, especially in ongoing peace dialogues.

Finally, Mr. President, allow me to draw the Council’s attention to the intersection between conflict, peace and environment.

Deforestation stemming from the activities of armed and criminal groups as well as widespread land mine contamination affect communities and natural ecosystems.

We encourage the ongoing peace process in Colombia to be seen as an opportunity for empowerment of conflict-affected communities through environmental protection.

Mr. President,

Slovenia expresses its gratitude to the Governments of Colombia, Guyana, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for their efforts in organizing a visiting mission to Colombia next month.

We are convinced that the visit will contribute to support of the Council for the work of the Mission and the Government in its peacebuilding efforts.

Thank you.

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