|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Colombia|
I wish to thank SRSG Massieu for his briefing and welcome Presidential Counsellor Mr. Archila to this meeting. I also listened attentively to the statement by the civil society representative.
Last November, Colombia solemnly commemorated the fifth anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement. The peace agreement put an end to the over-half-a-century old conflict in Colombia. Not only is it of great significance to peace and stability in Colombia and the entire Latin America, but also exemplifies efforts to resolve conflicts and rebuild peace through dialogue and negotiation. China welcomes the positive progress achieved in the Colombian peace process, and highly commends the efforts made by all parties in Colombia to implement the peace agreement.
Colombia will hold its legislative and presidential elections in March and May this year respectively. Relevant parties and presidential candidates have included the further implementation of the peace agreement within their campaign platforms. The Comunes Party has endorsed 41 legislative candidates, including former combatants. China supports Colombia in advancing election progressions in an orderly manner. We hope that the elections will be held smoothly and all parties concerned will continue to work hard after the elections to consolidate the hard won-gains of peace, jointly addressed the difficulties and challenges in the implementation of the agreement in a continued effort to comprehensively move the peace process forward.
We note with concern that the frequent clashes between illegal armed groups vying for territorial control in some parts of Colombia not only seriously threaten the safety of local people, but also disrupt the peace process. We welcome the Colombian Government beefing up military deployment and security presence in remote areas that lack effective control and cracking down on illegal armed groups and organized criminal activities, with a view to effectively protecting civilians and former combatants.
The former combatants’ social integration and their enjoyment of the peace and development dividends is crucial to the realization of lasting peace. We appreciate the Colombian Government and the National Reintegration Council providing support to the former combatants in terms of housing, employment and land distribution. It is hoped that the Colombian Government will overcome the COVID-19-realted difficulties, help ex-combatants tackle economic and social challenges, carry on with rural reform, scale up development and crop substitution programs, so as to eliminate the root causes of violence and conflict as soon as possible.
The peace process in Colombia has made remarkable progress. Yet the people of Colombia still need robust assistance from the UN and the international community in their journey to build peace. China will, as always, support the UN Verification Mission in Colombia in working in accordance with its Council mandate. It is hoped that the Mission will step up coordination and cooperation with the UN country team, sustain its vigorous support to the implementation of the peace agreement, and make greater contributions to comprehensive peace, stability and development to Colombia.
Thank you, Madam President.