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 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Álvaro Leyva Durán to this meeting.

The 2016 Final Peace Agreement is nearing its 7th anniversary, which makes almost half of the time that was provided for its implementation. Over these years, implementation of UNSC-endorsed agreements encountered numerous challenges. In fact, the previous administration in Colombia sabotaged the peace process. However, it is gratifying that both sides to the FPA are committed to implementing it and are working together for the purposes of reconciliation.

We note consistent steps of the leadership of Colombia at this track, in particular in implementing the crop reform. At the same time, additional efforts are required to ensure physical security and respect for the rights of former combatants, social activists and the most vulnerable groups of the population, as well as implement crop substitution programs, strengthen state authority on the ground and provide housing to former participants of the conflict.

We particularly emphasize the need to stop violence against former FARC members. This year alone, more than 30 signatories to the FPA have already been killed. This is almost one killing per week. We cannot talk about sustainable implementation of the FPA unless there are clear security guarantees for ex-combatants. This becomes particularly important in light of the upcoming regional and municipal elections, where former rebels should be able to participate without fearing for their lives.

We view Bogota's recent peacebuilding initiatives as a logical follow-up on the provisions of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement. The Total Peace policy of the Government of Gustavo Petro provides an opportunity to resolve the pressing problems relating to Colombia's exit from the long-standing armed conflict. At the same time, we are convinced that the Total Peace can and must rest on the already laid foundations of the FPA. It is important that all decisions at the new peacebuilding tracks should not contradict that fundamental document.

At the same time, institutes and agreements established for the implementation of the FPA can and should be updated to meet the changing realities. Now that peace processes tend to multiply, there is a question of the future of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.  

We welcome the start of the work of the monitoring mechanism with the participation of UNVMC that is to verify the ceasefire agreement with the National Liberation Army. We hope that, as peace talks with other groups progress, these agreements will lead to a reduction in violence on the ground and an improvement in the humanitarian situation in the affected areas.

We are following the negotiation process with the paramilitary formation Central General Staff (EMC). We welcome that a nationwide truce has come into force and that dialogue with EMC has formally started. At the same time, we are concerned about the continuing armed violence by the EMC. We trust that both sides will still be able to find a path to reconciliation.

At the UN Security Council, Russia will continue to engage actively in international efforts to assist peacebuilding processes in Colombia. We reaffirm our full support for the work of the United Nations Verification Mission under the leadership of Carlos Ruiz Massieu. We are ready to give positive consideration to the forthcoming extension of UNVMC’s comprehensive mandate this month.

Thank you.

Video of the statement