Statement by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson at UN Security Council briefing on Colombia

Thank you, Mister President,

I thank SRSG Carlos Ruiz Massieu and Ms Melissa Herrera, Founder and Director of the Latin-American Foundation “Viva la Vida“ for their briefings today. I would like to express Estonia’s strong support for the work of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. We warmly welcome H.E Marta Lucia Ramirez, Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.

The situation in Colombia is worrisome. The social unrest in Colombia and the polarization of the society need to be dealt with. The recent developments have shown the urgency to overcome this crisis. It is important to avoid further escalation of violence. We encourage all parties to put aside their differences and continue to seek a resolution through a peaceful dialogue. It is important to enhance security guarantees and structural reforms.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Peace Agreement. We recognise all the positive developments and efforts made so far towards sustainable peace. We welcome the developments regarding the decision to create 16 special transitional electoral districts for peace. Another important element of reconciliation of the society is transitional justice. We value the work of all transitional justice mechanisms, especially the Special Jurisdiction for Peace that plays an important role in guaranteeing the victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation.

The security situation remains the main challenge. We are concerned about the continuous killings of former combatants, social and indigenous leaders and human rights defenders. Fighting against impunity is the key to stopping violence. It is essential to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure the security of all regions of the country and vulnerable social groups. Limited state presence, poverty and illegal armed groups are the main causes for violence and need to be addressed. Also, the National Commission on Security Guarantees needs to be convened to develop a clear roadmap for implementing the public policy guidelines.

Furthermore, the third wave of COVID-19 has already reached Colombia, causing deterioration of the health situation. We encourage the government to continue moving forward with the vaccination strategy.

Finally, we remain hopeful that a meaningful progress can be made in spite of the current dramatic challenges.

Estonia strongly supports the continued commitment to implement the Final Peace Agreement.