Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Colombia


We welcome Vice President of Colombia, Ms. Francia Márquez, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Álvaro Leyva, to this meeting. 

We thank Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu for the briefing on the situation in the country and for his assessments. We also thank Mr. Armando Valbuena.

Upon request of Colombian authorities, the Security Council made a unanimous decision today to extend the monitoring functions of the Verification Mission for two additional chapters of the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) – the crop reform and ethnic issues. We hope that engagement of UN experts and observers as an independent party at this track will promote faithful implementation of the historic accords of 2016. 

We welcome strong commitment of G.Petro’s administration to comprehensive fulfilment of the FPA. The new Colombian authorities have done more for the cause of reconciliation in six months than the old administration in 4 years. We note the progress of the agrarian reform, reintegration of former combatants, advancement of vital legislative initiatives that provide legal support for the peacebuilding. Revitalization of the Commission for Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Agreement plays a significant role in coordinating efforts for the fulfilment of the FPA.  

As admitted by Colombians themselves, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Particular attention should be paid to security of public activists and former FARC members, as well as implementation of crop substitution programs, and strengthening of state authority at the local level. 

The relations with Venezuela are of huge historical importance for establishing peace and sustainable socio-economic development of Colombia. We welcome the recovery of ties between these two states, which was underpinned by the recent visit of President Petro to Caracas. History proved that the short-sighted attempts of previous Colombian authorities to fence off and turn away from the brotherly Venezuelan people had been erroneous and futile. We are convinced that normalization of Colombian-Venezuelan relations will help to settle the situation with migration in the region, enhance border control, counter trans-national organized crime and drug trafficking. 

Bogota’s steps towards establishing peace with the armed groups in order to stop violence and prevent casualties are worth international approval and support. We take note of the bilateral ceasefire with four major illegal armed formations. It is important to launch effective mechanisms for bilateral observance and verification of the truce, and also to ensure state control in the areas with limited presence of armed forces, and also wherever the opposing armed groups are present simultaneously.  

Achievement of agreements between Bogota and the "National Liberation Army" rebel group constitutes an integral factor of peace in Colombia. We keep track of the contacts of the sides and hope that they will be able to strike mutually acceptable agreements in order to put an end to the armed confrontation that has lasted for decades. Should Bogota turn to the Security Council for assistance, we are ready to look into various options to arrange international support for the eventual agreement.  

For now the UN Verification Mission in Colombia will keep working in accordance with its mandate to verify implementation of certain provisions of the Peace Agreement. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia intends to provide further comprehensive support for the Colombian peace process and the UN Mission under the lead of Mr.Carlos Ruiz Massieu. 

Thank you.