UK Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Colombia

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The UK is committed to supporting Colombia along its path to peace and security for all its people

12 July 2023

Thank you to SRSG Ruiz Massieu and Ms Salcedo López for their briefings. I welcome the participation of Foreign Minister Leyva at this meeting.

The United Kingdom welcomes the efforts made by the Colombian Government to implement the Peace Agreement. We welcome the approval of the National Development Plan, which includes an Investment Plan for Peace. Ensuring funding to deliver reforms and strengthen state presence across Colombia will be essential to deliver progress in the coming years.

As Ms Salcedo sets out, the Gender Chapter is an essential element of the Peace Agreement. We are concerned that women leaders and female ex-combatants continue to face conflict-related sexual violence, and we encourage the Government of Colombia to continue to prioritise full implementation of the gender provisions of the Peace Agreement.

Political participation is also critical to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. As we approach regional elections in October, we encourage the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of peace signatories seeking to participate in the democratic process.

We strongly condemn violence against ex-FARC combatants, human rights defenders and social leaders. Since the signing of the agreement, over 375 ex-FARC combatants have been killed. We urge the Government to strengthen prevention and protection measures, and reiterate the importance of the National Commission on Security Guarantees.

The United Kingdom welcomes the announcement in June of a ceasefire between the Government and the ELN and hopes that communities see genuine improvements in their security. We expect the ELN to approach its undertakings in good faith. We are following closely the efforts of the government to reach a ceasefire agreement with the EMC.

Finally, we thank the Secretary-General for providing the Council with options for an expanded UN role in verifying ceasefire agreements. We will share a draft resolution in the coming days for discussion with Council Members.

Foreign Minister Levya, SRSG Ruiz Massieu, members of the Council, Colombia can count on the UK to continue supporting it along your path to peace and security for all its people.

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