Highlighting progress in the Colombian peace process, especially the completion of the laying down of arms by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), the United Nations envoy for the country has called for shifting the momentum to other aspects of the historic peace deal.
In his briefing to the UN Security Council today, Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, recalled the conviction expressed by President Juan Manuel Santos and Timoleon Jimenez, the head of the FARC-EP Secretariat, at a ceremony for the final laying down of weapons – that the half-century-long armed conflict was over.
“I cannot but quote President Santos when he said that ‘reaching that day, living that day had made it worthwhile to be President of Colombia’,” said Mr. Arnault.
Attention should now shift to other aspects of the peace agreement, including the reintegration of FARC-EP combatants and militias, “among whom a deep sense of uncertainty prevails as to their physical security following disarmament and their socio-economic future,” he noted.
“No effort can be spared in the prompt implementation of that agenda,” he added.
He also highlighted that in addition to the reintegration of combatants, the peace process must also respond to the needs and expectations of the more vulnerable sectors of Colombian society and recalled the priority areas identified by the Colombian Government: rule of law and increased security; providing access to goods and services to areas that did not have access to it; and prompt delivery of justice to victims of the conflict.