World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Urges Parties to ‘Stay the Course’ in Colombia

In Colombia, UN Political Chief Urges Parties to ‘Stay the Course’ Set Out in Peace Accord

16 November 2017 – More must be done to ensure that the remarkable gains of the first phase of Colombia’s peace process are maintained, the top United Nations political official has said, wrapping up a visit to the country with an appeal to all Colombians to rally behind the accord, especially to ensure that former combatants are reintegrated into civilian life.

"I arrived this week, at the request of the Secretary-General, to convey a sense of growing concern about how the peace process has been evolving over the past several months,” the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, told reporters there on Wednesday.

Despite a range of commendable activities under way by the Government, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the international community, Mr. Feltman highlighted three concerns, beginning with the lack of an overall strategy for reintegration, concrete plans and resources to enable its success.

“The drifting of a number of FARC members out of the zones, for a range of reasons that include joining the so-called ‘dissidents’ is a troubling sign of what could be the result on a wider scale if reintegration efforts are not very substantially accelerated,” Mr. Feltman stated.

Secondly, he underscored his apprehension over the security situation in former conflict zones, particularly areas in which FARC vacated while their laying down their arms to convert to an unarmed political movement.

“We share the deep concern about the reported vacuums of authority in many of these areas and the resultant insecurity for communities as other illegal groups move in to fill the void,” he underscored.

Mr. Feltman’s final concern was about legal uncertainties, predominantly affecting FARC members, which have resulted in delays in approving key legislation.

Citing Monday’s decision by the Constitutional Court on the Tribunal, he expressed hope that Congress would quickly adopt the implementing legislation, asserting, that: “This would only be consistent, in our view, with the decision of the same Parliament to ratify the peace agreement one year ago.”

On the ceasefire between the Government and the National Liberation Army, the Under Secretary-General said: “We hope that the parties can come to a timely decision on its extension past 9 January, and to communicate that as soon as possible to the Security Council.”

While recognizing that the peace process is subject to legitimate debate, Mr. Feltman appealed to all of Colombia’s institutions, parties and to the public at large, saying that despite differing views, “all surely can also see the national interest in ensuring that regions which for more than five decades have been besieged by lawlessness, violence and under-development are now stabilized and integrated fully into the economy and governance.”

“It is our strong view that this can be achieved by the robust implementation of the Peace Agreement,” he added.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Security Council authorizes UN Mission to verify truce between Colombian Government and ELN


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>


Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC