UN criticises government failings to implement peace accords
/ Saturday 18 November 2017
British NGO that campaigns for human rights, workers’ rights and the search for peace with social justice in Colombia.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, has called on the Colombian government to improve its handling of the peace process in order to ensure that the conditions it stipulates are implemented.
Feltman identified three core areas which require greater focus to advance the consolidation of peace: reintegration of demobilised FARC guerrillas into civil society, guarantees over political participation for the FARC’s newly-formed political party and the provision of security in territories vacated by the FARC and subsequently occupied by paramilitaries and other armed groups.
With regards to the FARC’s political participation, which has seen concerted right-wing efforts to block party members from entering the congress and impede other aspects of its electoral programme, Feltman said ’Failure to comply with this essential commitment, after the surrender of weapons, would have very serious repercussions for the process and would not be understood or accepted by the international community’.
With around 130 social leaders murdered since the peace agreement was signed a year ago, Feltman also emphasised the need to provide security in conflict-affected regions: ’We share the deep concern about the reported vacuum of authority in many of these areas and the resultant insecurity for communities as other illegal groups move in to fill the void. This is the context in which we continue to see killings of social leaders and some former FARC members, and where the authorities themselves have confirmed rising levels of violence’.