Colombia’s peace process is taking ‘deep roots’, but all sides must work together to overcome lingering challenges
To a world of geopolitical divides, never ending wars and multiplication of conflicts, Colombia sends a clear message: the time to invest in peace is now. pic.twitter.com/viv8It0lYL
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) November 24, 2021
Speaking from the headquarters of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, one of the main justice mechanisms created as part of the peace deal between the Government and the guerrilla movement, the Secretary-General said the fifth anniversary is a testimony to the commitment of the parties, but also of the State institutions and the vibrant Colombian civil society, facing all difficulties including tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the “undeniable achievements” the accord has yielded, Mr. Guterres noted among others that the fact that a guerrilla that had waged armed combat for half a century is today a political party and that the majority of ex-combatants, some 13,000, are striving “admirably” to build new lives.
Moreover, he recalled his visit on Tuesday to Antioquia’s mountainside village of Llano Grande, where he had witnessed “determination in the face of adversity and uncertainty” as the local community, ex-combatants and police are now living and working side-by-side.
“I also witnessed how, with Government action and support, the expansion of locally designed development and social protection programs are bringing peace dividends to conflict-affected communities,” the Secretary-General said, adding that: “Ensuring the sustainability of these efforts will be critical in the future.”;
Colombia is an inspiring example: “In a world marked by conflicts, many of them without an end in sight, a peace agreement negotiated to end a conflict that many believed to be unsolvable is something extremely unique and valuable,” stated the UN chief.