Bogota, 12 February 2024 (TDI): The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in collaboration with Switzerland, Guyana, and the United Kingdom, conducted a crucial visiting mission to Colombia from February 7th to 11th.
The primary objective of this UNSC mission was to evaluate the progress made in implementing the Peace Agreement and to support Colombia’s peacebuilding efforts.
This UNSC mission was led by Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations and then-President of the Security Council. The mission marked a significant step in reaffirming the Council’s commitment to peace in Colombia.
Birkett emphasized the importance of firsthand observation in assessing the achievements and challenges encountered during the eight years since the signing of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement.
He added that “The Security Council is dedicated to ensuring the success of the Peace Agreement and supporting Colombia in its journey towards lasting peace,” during a media briefing held at Casa de Nariño.
Additionally, the visiting mission provided a unique opportunity to engage with key stakeholders actively involved in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
Birkett highlighted the Council’s encouragement of recent positive developments, including the extension of the ceasefire between the Government and National Liberation Army (ELN).
Switzerland’s Permanent Representative in New York, Ambassador Baeriswyl reiterated the Council’s hopes for continued dialogue progress between all parties involved.
Furthermore, Dame Barbara Woodward, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Peace Agreement. She emphasized the need to protect vulnerable groups affected by violence.
“We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Colombians, particularly women, human rights defenders, and children,” Dame Barbara Woodward affirmed.
Engagements of UNSC Mission
Throughout the UNSC Mission Peace Progress, the UNSC engaged in a series of meetings with various stakeholders, including peace signatories, judges from the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, congress members, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.
These meetings aimed to gather insights into the progress and challenges of the peace negotiation processes and to strengthen support for Colombia’s peacebuilding initiatives.
The visit concluded on a hopeful note with an informal gathering hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where members of the Security Council had the opportunity to listen to the inspiring voices of the Children’s Choir for Peace.
Their performances served as a reminder of the importance of collective efforts in building a peaceful future for Colombia.