Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in Colombia

Mr.President, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gabon Michael Moussa Adamo, 

We welcome Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Alvaro Leyva Duran to this meeting.  

We thank Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu for presenting the report on the situation in the country and for his assessments. We also thank Ambassador Muhith of Bangladesh and Ms.Elizabeth Moreno.

We welcome the general course towards peace that has been outlined by the administration of Gustavo Petro. The first steps of the new government instill optimism and confidence that the authorities are fully committed to implementing the provisions of the Final Peace Agreement. This approach is essentially different from that of the previous administration, which used various pretexts to avoid implementing the Agreement.  

Back then, we could see that the peace process was seeking to have one part of the community integrated in the other. So it was aimed at an “absorption” instead of a “merge”, which had been one of the major causes for conflict. Such an approach did not address the issues of physical safety of peace process participants and community leaders, the vacuum of state power in certain regions of the country, comprehensive agricultural reform and crop substitution programs. Many public figures in Colombia believe that the recent four years added no value to the peace process or even caused a backlash of the security situation to the level of 2016 when the FPA was signed.

The incumbent president and his team are faced with a very ambitious task. They need to overcome those longstanding challenges. As we repeatedly pointed out, achievement of a sustainable and lasting peace in Colombia is not possible without engagement of all major stakeholders, including the National Liberation Army.  It is reassuring that resumption of negotiations with NLA is one of the priorities of the new authorities. Meetings of the sides in Cuba and Venezuela and reciprocal commitment to continue dialogue in November indicate real progress towards a complete cessation of hostilities and national reconciliation in Colombia. 

We welcome that universally trusted external guarantors and mediators who can add value to negotiations have joined the settlement process. It is positive that we see Venezuela in this capacity, as it is Colombia’s most important and closest (in every sense of the word) neighbor.

We note consistent steps of Bogota aimed at resuming dialogue and cooperation with Caracas, which meets the fundamental interests of both nations.  We are convinced that normalization of Venezuelan-Colombian relations will contribute to addressing the situation with migration and combatting transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in the region.

In these new circumstances, UN assistance in implementing the peace agreements is relevant as never before. We emphasize that the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, that we will have to renew before the end of this month, only covers the implementation process of the Final Peace Agreement. We are ready to support renewal of the mandate upon thorough consideration of the draft. At the same time, we draw the attention of the Secretary-General and the Security Council that implementation of the FPA and achievement of the “total peace”, the provisions of which provide for a broader interpretation of the tasks of the government, go beyond the mandate of the Mission at this point.   

Russia is prepared to continue taking active part in the global efforts to render comprehensive assistance to the peacebuilding process in Colombia. We reiterate our full support for the UN Verification Mission in Colombia under the lead of Carlos Ruiz Massieu.

Thank you.