UN Security Council authorizes new mission in Colombia

By Wang Linyan at the United Nations | | Updated: 2017-07-10 16:39

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to adopt a resolution to create a new UN mission in Colombia to help reincorporate rebels from the country's largest former guerrilla group.

The UN Verification Mission, headed by a special representative of the UN secretary-general, would begin work on Sept 26 for an initial period of 12 months to monitor the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)'s "process of political, economic and social reincorporation, the implementation of personal and collective security guarantees, and comprehensive programs on security and protection measures for communities and organizations in the territories", according to Resolution 2366.

The mandate of the current UN mission in Colombia, which monitors the ceasefire and disarmament in the country, will end on Sept 26.

"The peace agreement is an important milestone in Colombia," said China's Permanent Representative to the UN Liu Jieyi after the meeting on Monday. "The Security Council gives its firm support at this critical stage of implementing the final agreement."

Liu, who is also Security Council president for the month of July, said at the meeting that the resolution on the verification mission once again sent "a positive signal" in support of Colombia's peace process and would "lend impetus to the full implementation of the peace accord".

"The smooth development of the Colombia peace process is conducive to safeguarding peace and stability in Latin America and is valuable to the council in promoting solutions to hot-spot issues in other regions," Liu said.

He expressed his hopes that related parties can work together to achieve new results in Colombia's peace process and set an example for the international community of how to properly solve conflicts.

Liu said he hoped the secretary-general would enhance communication with related parties in Colombia, and put forward proposals for the size and mandate of the verification mission, so the peace process would yield greater results.

"China is willing to work with other council members to make new contributions to the peace, stability and prosperity of Colombia," Liu said.

FARC was founded in 1964. The FARC rebels completed its disarmament process in late June in line with the peace agreement signed in November 2016, marking an end to the half-century-old conflict in Colombia.

Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, Colombia's minister for foreign affairs, praised at the meeting the Council's role in helping build trust between parties that negotiated the agreement.

She said having the support of the international community had allowed Colombia to remain steadfast in overcoming its most difficult moments.

"This peace process has been built amongst Colombians and is for Colombians," she said. "Little by little people begin to see the benefits of peace and are willing to give it a chance."


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