Statement by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson at UN Security Council on Colombia

Thank you, Mr President,

I would like to thank Special Representative of Secretary General Carlos Ruiz Massieu for his briefing and I would also like to express Estonia’s strong support for the work of the UN Verification Mission. We warmly welcome Ms Claudia Blum de Barberi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.

We support the continued commitment of the Government of Colombia to implement the Final Peace Agreement. We welcome any progress made in these challenging times, especially in the field of justice. The public apology issued by the former FARC-EP Secretariat marks a positive step forward. We also recognize the achievements of the Special Investigation Unit of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Lasting peace cannot be achieved without justice.

Meanwhile, the continued killings of civilians, human rights defenders, social leaders and the former FARC-EP combatants remain alarming and must end. We reiterate the urgent need to protect these and other vulnerable groups. It is important to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the violations. Here, the work of the components of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition is essential. We also encourage the National Commission on Security Guarantees to proceed its work on the public policy in order to dismantle criminal organizations and their support networks.

The situation of children is particularly concerning. Children are at the risk of forced labour, sexual exploitation and recruitment into armed groups. Child protection measures must be strengthened.

Despite the Government’s commitment to bring peace, security and development to rural Colombia these areas are suffering from the absence of State authorities. Wider structural issues need to be addressed in order to better tackle these challenges. It is essential to ensure the sustainability of the reintegration process and address all pending issues, including access to land for the former FARC-EP combatants. We encourage all parties to redouble their efforts and continue cooperation in a constructive spirit to achieve lasting peace.

Finally, we remain hopeful that a meaningful progress can be made. We would like to assert Estonia’s strong support to comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement.

Thank you!