Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu, who will do us the honor of taking part in the Forum for International Cooperation in Switzerland this Thursday to talk about the peace process in Colombia. I would also like to thank Mrs Sanchez for her speech. I would as well like to express my gratitude to Minister Murillo, who is here with us today, for the excellent collaboration with the members of the Council during the trip to Colombia in February.

On this occasion, the Council was able to see for itself the peace efforts underway and the way in which the government is pursuing the objective of "total peace" through dialogue - an effort supported by Switzerland. Discussions with the various stakeholders highlighted the population's desire to achieve lasting peace throughout the country. 

Allow me to highlight the following three points: 

Firstly, the guarantee of justice and accountability for the crimes committed is essential to the success of the peace process. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is at the heart of these efforts. Switzerland therefore organised an event yesterday with the president of this body, which provided an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the progress, opportunities and challenges involved in promoting justice and reconciliation. This exchange also provided a platform for addressing the concerns of the signatories of the final peace agreement. Dialogue and thorough consideration of all the concerns of the parties involved is crucial to finding a common way forward. Furthermore, while underlining the autonomy of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Switzerland calls for enhanced coordination between the competent authorities to ensure adequate preparation for the implementation of restorative justice before the first sentences are handed down. 

Secondly, Switzerland remains concerned about the continuing violence against marginalised groups, in particular indigenous peoples and AfroColombians. Colombians have high expectations of the ongoing peace processes, it is therefore crucial that issues of participation and security in the territories are addressed quickly. In order to ensure and promote security guarantees for former combatants, Switzerland calls for greater intra-institutional coordination. With regard to the reintegration of former combatants, we welcome the adoption of the Comprehensive

Reintegration Program and the National Reintegration System and call for their rapid implementation. Reintegration issues must be included in municipal and departmental development plans. This process must also be accelerated.  

Thirdly, Switzerland welcomes the renewal of the provisional bilateral ceasefire with the ELN for 180 days, despite the difficulties encountered during the last round of negotiations. We call for a continuation of the dialogue during the seventh round of negotiations. We note with concern the recent acts of violence perpetrated by the FARC-EP EMC. It is imperative that the explicit commitment of the EMC FARC-EP to improve the protection of civilians, as agreed during the last round of negotiations, is respected and implemented. As the guarantor of this process, we hope that the negotiations will lead to the re-establishment of a nationwide ceasefire and further progress therein.

Madam President, 

The recent visit by the Security Council highlighted the importance of continued support from the Council and the international community to achieve a lasting peace in Colombia. Beyond that, it also demonstrated the positive influence that a united Security Council can have on a peace process. 

Thank you.

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