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Minister Flanagan signs EU Trust Fund to support peace in Colombia

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Latin America, 2016

 

Minister Flanagan signs EU Trust Fund to support peace in Colombia

-        A Founding Member, Ireland pledges €3 million to the Fund

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, today (Monday) was a signatory at the inauguration in Brussels of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia.

At a ceremony in Brussels attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Minister Flanagan pledged €3 million to the Fund, which will underpin an agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrilla organisation, ending a 52-year conflict in the South American country.

Before the ceremony EU Foreign Ministers held discussions with President Santos.

Minister Flanagan said:

“Ireland strongly supports the Colombian peace process. The fifty year conflict is Colombia resulted in over 200,000 deaths and devastated the lives of many more. Our own experience of conflict gives us a special interest in building peace as well as a keen awareness of the importance of international support on the long and complicated road to peace and reconciliation.

“Ireland supported the peace negotiations through funding for the provision of technical and policy advice. Now that the agreement has been ratified, it is important that we support its implementation in order to prevent Colombia from sliding back into conflict. This Trust Fund is one of a number of measures by the international community to that end and I am pleased to pledge Ireland’s support to the Colombian people.”


The Minister congratulated Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for pursuing the negotiations with the FARC. He also paid tribute to the role of the former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, who is the EU’s Special Envoy to the peace process and who was present in Brussels today.

Ireland is one of the founder members of the Fund and will contribute €3 million over five years.

ENDS

Press Office

12 December 2016

Note for Editors

The peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC was ratified by the Colombian congress on 29 November 2016. The accord had been re-negotiated following its narrow rejection in a plebiscite on 2 October to account of concerns expressed by its opponents.

The EU Trust Fund for Colombia will help to finance peace projects during the implementation phase of the agreement. Ireland is one of the founder members of the Fund and will contribute €3 million over five years.

Ireland supported the Colombia talks through funding to the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) which has provided technical and policy advice to the negotiation process. It has also provided access to lessons learned from the process in Northern Ireland, as well as supporting groups working to promote and defend human rights in Colombia.