UNITED NATIONS, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Thursday called for the advancement of the peace process in Colombia and voiced concern over violence, including that against ex-combatants.
In a press statement, the members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with Colombia to support the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
The council members expressed their serious concern about the continued threats, attacks and killings targeting community and social leaders, as well as those targeting former FARC members.
They underlined the need for the fuller use of the security guarantees mechanisms in the peace agreement, the extension of integrated civilian and security state presence to conflict-affected regions, and for the perpetrators of threats and violence to be brought to justice.
They noted with concern that insecurity had forced several groups of ex-combatants to abandon their locations of residence, and called for efforts to ensure the physical protection of former combatants.
The council members welcomed efforts by the Colombian authorities to promote inclusive development as an important element of stable and lasting peace. They stressed the importance of implementing all aspects of the peace agreement, including rural reform, political participation, countering illicit drugs, and transitional justice.
They commended the resilience of Colombians in the face of COVID-19, and welcomed efforts by the parties to mitigate its impact on peace implementation.
They noted the particular challenges the pandemic posed to the reintegration process, and in this context stressed the importance of continued joint efforts by the government and FARC to ensure the sustainability of reintegration projects.
They urged the acceleration of efforts to ensure access to land for former combatants, which is essential for income-generating projects, and underlined the importance of increased support in the form of technical assistance and market access.
The Security Council on Tuesday heard a briefing from Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Colombia, to assess the progress in Colombia's peace process.
The Colombian government and FARC struck a peace deal in August 2016 after four years of negotiations in Havana, Cuba, ending a five-decade-long conflict in the country. The United Nations deploys a verification mission in Colombia, which is led by Massieu, to verify the reintegration of former FARC fighters.