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Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Colombia

Thank you Mr President. My thanks also to SRSG Ruiz Massieu for his briefing and for the work of the Verification Mission in Colombia.


Ireland also welcomes the valuable perspectives of the Peace Building Commission. Thank you Ambassador Muhith.


I would also like to thank Ms Moreno for your inspiring and important testimony. And I further want to recognise the participation of Minister Leyva and also Ambassador Zalabata.


At a time of significant change in Colombia, the peace process has remained steadfast. It continues to provide a shining example of inclusive peace building and a comprehensive peace accord.


Ireland reiterates our support to all those building a durable and sustainable peace in Colombia.  We welcome the new Government’s commitment to intensify implementation of the agreement. We will continue to accompany you on this journey as friends and partners in peace.


Mr President, I wish to focus my remarks on three key issues.


First, the true potential of the accord can only be fully realised by complete implementation. This will require greater prioritisation – in particular of the rural reform and ethnic chapters - and by renewed dedication to the gender chapters. Ireland welcomes the reinvigoration of the CSIVI. We know from our own peace process that dialogue is essential for enduring, sustained peace.


Peace is the primary precondition for progress. Peace is integral for Colombia to advance its socio-economic development, to protect its unique biodiversity, and to overcome historic inequalities.


We welcome the announcement by President Petro of the reestablishment of peace talks between the government and the ELN, and ongoing efforts for a ceasefire with other armed groups. This is potentially another transformational moment on Colombia’s path to lasting peace.


Second, Ireland reiterates our support to the Colombian transitional justice system. We welcome the commitment to victims and survivors demonstrated by the opening of three new cases at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. We recognize the important acknowledgements of truth and responsibility by many indicted under Case 03, and the welcome progress made in other cases. Ireland fully supports the intention to open a macro case on crimes related to sexual and gender based violence.


I also want to recall the recent return of four young persons by the Unit for the Search of Persons Deemed Missing. This brings invaluable closure to their families and communities.


President Petro’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Truth Commission Final Report in full is very welcome.


These processes, individually and collectively, will have a transformative impact on the lives of victims and survivors and for true reconciliation for all Colombians.


Third, continuing levels of violence are a deep stain on the tapestry of peace in Colombia. Ireland condemns the recent deaths of 20 police officers at the hands of illegal armed groups. We deplore the persistently high levels of killings of indigenous people and Afro-Colombians, of children, of former combatants, and of human rights defenders.


Ireland condemns in the strongest terms the killing of José Quiñones; the fourth leader of his organisation killed in less than a year.


The protection of all who work for peace is a critical requirement for a peaceful, stable and equal future. We welcome the recent meeting of the National Security Guarantees Committee, whose work is essential.


Recognising the particular challenges facing women peace-builders, Ireland encourages the full and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Programme for Safeguards for Women Leaders and Human Rights Defenders.


As a country that understands the centrality of women to sustainable peace, Ireland stands ready to work with Colombia on the development of its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.


Mr President,


It is rare that we speak of hope around this table. But in the case of the Colombian peace process, there are compelling reasons to hope.


The soil for enduring peace is fertile in Colombia. We must tend that field carefully. With the continued commitment of the Colombian government and people, and with the support of this Council, the harvest can be plentiful.


For our part, Ireland will continue to do its part to see a peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive future realized for all Colombians.

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