General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing/Consultations on Colombia

(Thursday, 21 January 2020)




Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti,

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Mr. President,


At the outset, I would like to welcome H.E. Claudia Blum de Barberi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia to this meeting.  I would also like to thank SRSG Carlos Ruiz Massieu for his comprehensive briefing.


2 Colombia is witnessing remarkable progress in the implementation of the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace. The denouncement of violence, laying down of arms by the FARC-EP and its transformation into a political party; the commitment and resolve of the Government of Colombia to the Agreement and the central role of the UN in its implementation, have all positively contributed to the process of peacebuilding in Colombia.  This would not have happened without vision and leadership.


3. Today, democracy in Colombia is deepening through increased political participation. The transitional justice system to ensure truth, justice, and reparations to victims is making headway, particularly under the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Truth Commission. The conflict-affected communities are witnessing the fruits of long-overdue investments in their regions, contributing to socio-economic development. The extent of violence of this decades-long armed conflict is decreasing, and security situation is slowly improving in the rural areas. We, therefore, applaud the efforts of the people and the Government of Colombia in realizing the achievements of the last four years.


Mr. President,


4. The implementation of the Peace Agreement has gained further ground in the last four months despite challenges, including those posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Colombian leadership and authorities have continued to engage with former FARC combatants to address problems in the re-integration progress; the process of purchase of land for former combatants living in the erstwhile Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TATR) has gained momentum; and the National Reintegration Council has started holding sessions at the regional level. The National Commission on Security Guarantees is also expected to soon adopt a public policy for dismantling illegal armed groups and criminal organizations.  We welcome each of these positive developments.


5. The path ahead in the implementation of the Peace Agreement remains both complex and challenging, especially given the interconnected nature of the issues involved. In this regard, I would like to underline on the following points:


i) The gap in the integrated presence of the State between urban and rural areas, especially those affected by the conflict, needs continued attention. There have been reports that suggest that during the pandemic, security vulnerabilities have increased, especially in remote areas where State presence is limited. While we appreciate the constraints, the enhanced presence of the State authorities will help tackle the challenges posed by organized criminal groups and drug traffickers.


ii) The recent killings of former combatants, social leaders, and human rights defenders necessitates the strengthening of the Tripartite Protection and Security Mechanism. The Transitional Justice Mechanism should continue to secure justice for the victims of the conflict. Strengthening local judicial capacity, particularly in the regions most affected by the violence, is also important. The work of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Attorney-General’s Office, created by the Peace Agreement therefore remains critical.


iii) Consequently, the implementation of rural reforms,  reintegrating ex-combatants, including non-TATR across the country; providing land and effective implementation of illicit crop substitution programme is crucial to discourage the activities of FARC-EP dissident groups, which is threatening the reintegration process.


iv) India supports the Secretary-General’s five priorities as proposed for 2021 focussing on the UN Mission's verification of sections concerning re-integration and security guarantees of the Peace Agreement.


v) We have taken note of Colombia’s request to expand the  mandate of the UN Verification Mission to include the monitoring of sentences to be handed out by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.


Mr. President,


6. India has special relations with Colombia. India and Colombia celebrated 60 years of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2019. Over the years, the relationship has strengthened and diversified in various areas of mutual interest encompassing political, cultural and commercial fields. This is evidenced by growing trade and investments from India and the increasing presence of Indian companies in Colombia. In 2018, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched FACSAT 1 satellite, the first ever Colombian Air Force Nano-satellite. India offers more than 100 training slots to Colombian officials under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme annually. Also, every year, thousands of Colombians visit India for tourism, nature therapy and learning yoga. As Colombia marches ahead as one of the major economies in Latin America, India, as a long-standing partner, remains willing to support Colombia in its journey towards peace, progress, and prosperity.


I Thank You Mr. President.