Colombia Peace Agreement
2016 was a historic year for Colombia, as the Government there signed a peace accord with the FARC rebel group, ending over 50 years of conflict in the country. Ireland supported the peace process in Colombia, with our work to share the experience of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland being particularly valued as a contribution by all sides in Colombia.
Pictured above are four women from Northern Ireland – Denise Hughes, Geraldine McAteer, Monica McWilliams and Úna Jennings – who travelled to Colombia in November 2016 for a programme focused on women and peacebuilding and gender-based violence in post-conflict. With the support of DFAT, the visitors met with women’s groups, civil society, and senior Colombian officials and also made a two-day field visit to the marginalised and conflict-affected region of Putumayo. In the image above, they are pictured meeting with a women’s group in Putumayo.
Ireland became a founder member of the EU Trust Fund for the Colombian Peace Process which was launched in 2016 and will provide a total of €3 million to the Fund. Ireland also provided funding to the UN Trust Fund in Colombia for its work in supporting the implementation of the peace accords and to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia which is responsible for monitoring the human rights aspects of the peace accords. Irish Aid provide funding to Christian Aid whose work in Colombia is focussed on the role of civil society and human rights defenders.
Former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr. Eamon Gilmore was appointed as EU Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process in 2015, his role being to spearhead the EU’s work to support the implementation of the agreement. Throughout 2016, Mr. Gilmore engaged with the Colombian government and opposition, FARC delegations, Colombian civil society, and the international community on the negotiation of the accords.