Thank you, Mr President,
I thank Special Representative of Secretary General Carlos Ruiz Massieu for the briefing and for the important work you are doing. We warmly welcome Ms Claudia Blum, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.
The peace process has continued to move forward through a challenging period. We encourage everyone to continue these efforts on the path to peace and prosperity.
We welcome the first local and departmental election since the signing of the Peace Agreement and the first with the participation of FARC and FARC-EP, which marks an important step forward. The role of the local and departmental authorities is critical for the success of Colombia´s peacebuilding efforts. It is the opportunity for the newly-elected local authorities to align with the peace process and to bring the implementation of peace agreement forward.
We acknowledge the government initiated „National Conversation“ with different sectors and themes. We encourage seeing dialogue as a platform to build more consensus and maintain the momentum in the society.
We note it positively that the vast majority of former fighters remain engaged and committed to the Final Agreement for the Termination of Conflict and Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace and continue working to reintegrate into civilian life despite continued uncertainties and attacks against them. It is important to emphasize that risks and challenges still remain and require more attention and action. As the result of an increased urbanization of demobilization the majority of ex-combatants now live amid civilian communities where it is more difficult to track them and ensure that they can access services and same benefits as the other citizens.
We are deeply concerned about the security situation and rising levels of violence against community leaders, human rights advocates, and former combatants. These individuals are at the forefront of implementing the peace agreement and violence towards them represents a fundamental threat to the success of the peace agreement. 2019 is the most violent year for the former combatants, a record 77 of whom were assassinated. We remain also concerned about the reports of violence targeting women’s political participation.
It is important to ensure the security of all parts of the country and especially of those the most vulnerable. We encourage the Colombian government to continue to make use of all established mechanisms. The National Commission for Security Guarantees, a body established in the peace agreement and intended to look for solutions to ongoing protection challenges should be used for developing a policy on the dismantling of criminal organization and their support networks. We reiterate the need to prioritize prevention, early warning and collective protection measures. These measures should take into consideration the particular needs of the potential victims such as indigenous people, Afro-Colombian communities and should have a gender sensitive approach.
Progress is needed in other areas of the Agreement. We encourage everyone to continue the valuable work by transitional justice mechanisms that are providing truth, justice and reconciliation for the victims – decisive elements for sustainable peace and long lasting development. Special Jurisdiction for Peace is a pillar of transitional justice and respect for its independence and autonomy must be ensured.
In conclusion, we are pleased to see the progress Colombian Government has made and would like to express Estonia´s strong support for the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement. The support of the international community, including the Security Council remains critical.
Thank you, Mr President!