Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Colombia
Statement14 July 2022
Thank you very much Mr President.
I’d like to thank you, Carlos, the SRSG for your assessment today. Special thanks to Padre De Roux, for your thoughtful and inspirational briefing. Jineth, I thank you for your powerful words to us today.
I would also like to welcome Vice-President Ramírez; thank you deeply for your sincere and consistent engagement with this Council and its members.
The past reporting period has borne witness to a number of historic moments in Colombia.
We welcome the largely peaceful conduct of Presidential elections in May and June, and the commitment of all candidates to upholding the peace agreement.
We stand ready to support the incoming government throughout the transition period and beyond.
This is an opportunity for actors from across Colombian society to recommit to the full implementation of the accord. As a new Congress is inaugurated next week, the formation of the “peace and victims’ caucus”, consisting of the 16 representatives of the special transitional electoral districts for peace, will further bring the voices of victims and survivors to the table.
We also welcome efforts to engage Colombian youth in political participation and peacebuilding, including by the platform of women’s organisations Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres.
The Colombian transitional justice system has taken significant steps over the reporting period.
The public acknowledgement of responsibility and truth in Cases 01 and 03 of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace represented historic progress in addressing legacy injustices in Colombia. We look forward to continued progress in these and other cases and to the first issuance of restorative sentences later this year.
The Final Report of the Truth Commission, as powerfully shared earlier by Padre de Roux, contains important recommendations and presents a platform upon which national reconciliation and healing can and must be built.
The Unit for the Search for Persons Deemed as Missing continues its critical work in providing deserved closure to grieving families.
The continued safe and meaningful participation of victims in these processes is essential for the legitimacy of the institutions, and is also fundamental to ensuring dignity and non-repetition.
I look forward to facilitating an in-depth discussion on the transitional justice system in Colombia in this afternoon’s Arria-Formula meeting.
While working to acknowledge injustices of the past, we must also recognize and address those which still occur in the present. For communities across Colombia, particularly indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, violence remains an everyday reality – through victimisation by armed groups, through sexual and gender-based violence, through forced displacement, confinement, and forced child recruitment.
Those who stand up in support of peace, in support of human rights, and of dignity continue to be targeted, threatened and, in some cases, to lose their lives. The continued killing of signatories to the peace agreement, most recently Ronald Rojas, is truly a deplorable and unacceptable price to pay for committing to a peaceful future.
In particular we know the cost for women who stand up for themselves and their communities, like Jesusita Moreno in Cali, is often fatal. Accountability for such crimes must be ensured, and impunity eradicated.
Effective resourcing of the Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders is absolutely essential. The full and timely implementations of the gender provisions of the peace agreement will further aid these efforts.
Progress is also required on the National Commission on Security Guarantees, including the adoption and implementation of the public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups.
Those guarantees are critical to reducing violence and to providing safety and security to those who have committed to peace.
At this moment of political transition, truth and accountability, Colombia stands at an important juncture. The support of the Security Council and of the international community to the implementation of the Colombian peace accord is as vital as ever. Ireland will continue to stand with the Colombian government and with the Colombian people, committed to a shared, equitable, inclusive and peaceful future.
Thank you President.