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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on Colombia

2023-01-12 21:30

Mr. President, 

I welcome Vice President Francia Márquez of Colombia to this meeting. I thank Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu for his briefing. I have listened carefully to the statement by civil society representative.

Over the past year, the people for Colombia have made welcoming progress in political dialogue and nation-building through their joint efforts, thus ushering in a new chapter of peace, development and reconciliation. As said by the Secretary-General in his report, the peace process in Colombia has entered a new phase of dynamism. I am very happy that the Council just unanimously adopted Resolution 2673 extending the mandate of the Mission. We hope the international community will seize and build upon the momentum, and continue to provide necessary support to the peace process, so that more visible outcomes can be achieved. I would like to make the following points. 

First, continuing to promote the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Colombian Government under President Gustavo Petro and other relevant parties have been fully engaged in implementing clauses of the agreement. Practical measures have been taken, especially in terms of rural reform, land distribution, and the elimination of violence. In particular, the National Committee on Reintegration has recently restarted its work, which would enable the former combatants to have access to land and to participate in productive projects, an effective way to sustain their integration. These measures and progress are deserved to be highly acknowledged. However, it should also be pointed out that the implementation of the Peace Agreement is a long-term and systematic undertaking, which requires continued efforts towards its full implementation from all parties of the society. The international community should continue to pay close attention and provide sustained political support.

Second, resolving differences through dialogue and negotiation. Colombia ended the conflict through dialogue and started peacebuilding through negotiation, setting a good example of political settlement. Last month, the Government concluded its first around of negotiations with ELN, and reached six-month ceasefire agreements with four armed groups. A decision was also jointly made to carry out emergency humanitarian operation. We welcome all these developments. We believe that the country will continue to make unremitting efforts along the path of dialogue and negotiation, and hope that the parties will reach durable ceasefire and settlement through negotiation. We will continue to support the United Nations, regional countries, and the regional organizations to play a constructive role in encouraging peace through negotiation.

Third, attaching great importance to promoting lasting peace through sustainable development. Inclusive development shared by all is a fundamental approach to remove the root causes of conflict. We are happy to see that the Government has taken a series of initiatives to tackle unbalanced development, including to significantly increase the budget for rural reform. This will help narrow the gap between urban and rural areas, and to break the development bottleneck. We have taken note that the Government is conducting dialogue with different sectors of society over the National Development Plan for 2022-2026. This will help combine national development with the implementation of the Peace Agreement. China commends the governance approach adopted by the Government which lays emphasis on achieving peace through development, and hopes that the United Nations and international partners will strengthen coordination and work in synergy, so as to provide more support to Colombia for developing its economy and improving people’s livelihood. 

Fourth, continuing to improve the security situation. At present, certain areas in the country continue to suffer from instability. Armed groups remain active in former conflict areas and remote regions. We support the Government in beefing up its deployment in areas where national security remains fragile, and welcome the adoption of a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups and criminal organizations and taken effective measures to protect civilians, including women, children, and Afro-Colombians. According to the Secretary-General’s report, Colombia is one of the countries hit hardest by explosives, including landmines. Last year alone, there were more than 100 casualties in this regard. UNMAS can leverage it advantage, and provide technical support to relevant departments in the country, so as to enhance their capacity for de-mining and remove the hidden dangers of landmines. 

Finally, I wish to reiterate that China commends the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia for the important contributions made in the peace process in Colombia, and that we support the Mission to continue to play an active role in moving forward the peace process on the basis of respecting the ownership of Colombia.

Thank you, Mr. President. 

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