Security Council Briefing: Colombia

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom ,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 10 January 2018

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jean Arnault, for his comprehensive briefing this morning.

I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Vice President of Colombia Mr. Naranjo – a key player in the peace process. His commitment to the implementation of the peace agreement is much appreciated.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a close neighbor of Colombia through the Caribbean countries Aruba and Curacao, which are autonomous countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has politically supported the peace process in Colombia from the start and will continue to do so. We are also providing financial support for the implementation of the peace agreement.

I would also like to use this opportunity to thank ambassador Rycroft of the United Kingdom for all his achievements during his time on the Security Council. We will miss you.

Today, I would like to focus on three subjects: the peace agreement, some of the challenges and recent achievements and the ceasefire with the ELN.

The Peace agreement

The Kingdom of the Netherlands commends the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. The achievements of both parties in the peace process are remarkable and give hope to many in other regions of the world that are torn up by war.

Our financial support to the implementation of the peace agreement translates into a focus on human rights and gender, transitional justice, democratization and land rights.

We thank the Secretary General for his report on the Verification Mission and the Special Representative Jean Arnault and his staff for their exceptional work. The report contains a clear and realistic overview of the results of the mission and the progress of the implementation of the peace agreement in general.

Remaining challenges and achievements

Full implementation of the peace agreement is key. However difficult it may seem, challenges need to be confronted and dealt with without delay.

A solid national re-integration plan is necessary to make the political, economic, and social reincorporation of former combatants into society a reality.

We hope both parties will be creative, finding ways to give demobilized ex-FARC-members access to land.

We very much welcome the recent steps op President Santos in this regard.

We also would like to stress the important dimension of gender. Given the important role women have played in the peace process, women should also be able to participate fully in the drafting and implementation of the re-integration plan. Participation of women has proven to be effective, and it is crucial to the success of the re-integration plan as well.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is concerned about the security situation in certain regions and the increase in violence against Human Rights Defenders, community leaders and former combatants. Therefore we welcome the re-design of Plan Victoria into Plan Horus, which includes the National Police and has a stronger focus on areas where the security situation is most critical.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomes the first steps taken by the Colombian government to set up a ‘transitional justice’ system, and looks forward to the full implementation of Chapter 5 of the peace agreement. In order to reach sustainable and lasting peace, impunity should be put to an end and reparations and guarantees of non-repetition to the 8 million victims should be ensured.

Ceasefire with the ELN

This morning, attacks took place on infrastructure, shortly after the ending of the ceasefire. It would be very unfortunate if the attacks were the consequence of a decision by the ELN to resume its actions against the Colombian state.

As a member of the Group of Countries supporting the negotiation table of the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and ELN, the Kingdom of the Netherlands calls upon both parties to renew the ceasefire.

The first ceasefire has greatly improved the humanitarian situation in areas affected by the conflict. A renewal is in the best interest of the Colombian people and is a necessary precondition for a full participation of civil society in the peace negotiations.  

Mr. President, in conclusion:

Como país vecino, el Reino de Los Países Bajos, está totalmente comprometido can el proceso de paz Colombiano y está muy dispuesto a apoyar al gobierno en la implementación de los acuerdos.

Enfrentamos desafíos importantes, pero estamos convencidos de que el proceso de paz es irreversible.

Thank you Mr. President.

Belongs to