Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on Colombia
We are pleased to see you presiding over the Security Council, Sir, and it is an honour to have you conducting today’s meeting.
We also welcome Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo García, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, and Mr. Emilio José Archila, High Counsellor for Post-Conflict, to today’s meeting. I would first like to express my condolences to the families of those killed and injured during the attack on the police academy in Bogotá on 17 January. That heinous crime, which killed and maimed dozens of people, should be thoroughly investigated and its perpetrators duly punished.
We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Jean Arnault, former Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral for Colombia, for his genuine commitment to the peace process in Colombia. We congratulate Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, on his debut in the Security Council, and thank him for his comprehensive briefing on the Secretary-General’s report (S/2018/1159), which is a reasonably objective reflection of the situation regarding the Colombian parties’ fulfilment of their obligations under the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace.
We note the report’s conclusions about the steps taken by Bogotá to stabilize the situation in the country and consolidate public opinion on the Agreement, which has established a reliable legal basis for a settlement and made broad international support possible. It is now important to ensure that its signatories strengthen and develop the progress that has been made in the 16 months of the Verification Mission’s existence. The security of citizens must be a top priority. One task that cannot be put off is preventing and investigating the murders and attacks on civilians, including former combatants. As long as the problem remains unresolved, it will compel people to seek security independently. That trend must be stopped and efforts must be focused on the problem.
Needless to say, there is a great deal to be done to create conditions that can enable the people to earn a stable and legal income. Political problems persist. It will also be essential to ensure that the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común is duly represented in Colombia’s Parliament and the independence of the work of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is guaranteed. In that context, the commitment of President Iván Duque Márquez to the socioeconomic, political and legal reintegration of former combatants, noted in the Secretary-General’s report, is crucial, in our view.
We firmly believe that under the leadership of its new Head, the Verification Mission will continue to be of reliable assistance to the Colombians in monitoring the implementation of the peace Agreement by its signatories. The Security Council has often pointed out that Colombia is the poster-child example of how international support can and should be provided, through close cooperation with a host Government in the leading role, and a responsible attitude on the part of the whole of society. It was its citizens’ avowed national ownership and desire to seek a politically sustainable solution that made peace possible in Colombia. In conclusion, I want to again touch on the tragic attack on the police academy. Our position is well known.
We are firmly against all terrorist acts, regardless of their aims. It is clear to us that the organizers of the 17 January attack intended to undermine the peace process, and if that leads to incitement, they will achieve their goal. We believe that in their wisdom, the Colombians who struggled for decades to achieve peace will not permit those evil plans to come to fruition and that the peace process will continue.
For our part, we will continue to support the people and the Government of Colombia in the work of building a lasting peace and post-conflict development.