United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia – Report of the Secretary-General (S/2021/1090) – Colombia

Introduction

1. This report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2603 (2021), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, and Security Council resolution 2366 (2017). , in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the Mission’s mandate every 90 days. This report covers the period from September 25, 2021 to December 27, 2021.

II. Major developments

2. The period under review was marked by the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Final Agreement to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace. The weeks leading up to and following the November 24 anniversary were an opportunity for actors engaged in peacebuilding efforts and for Colombian society as a whole to discuss the Final Agreement and its implementation. work. The Government, former combatants of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP), state institutions, civil society, academia and the international community organized commemorative events throughout the country, taking stock of progress made, challenges and future prospects. .

3. I traveled to Colombia on November 23 and 24, 2021 to participate in the important cycle of activities marking the anniversary. In Bogotá, I attended commemorative events and held meetings with the President, Ivan Duque, and officials of his government, leaders of the Comunes party, officials of the transitional justice system, leaders of civil society and victims of armed conflict. I also traveled to the department of Antioquia, where I visited a former territorial training and reintegration area in which former FARC-EP combatants in the process of reintegration work closely with the communities, as well as another municipality in which the government implements development programs with a territorial focus created under the final agreement. Throughout the visit, I conveyed a message of recognition of historic progress, acknowledged the major challenges that remain, and encouraged Colombians to stay the course with the full implementation of the Final Agreement in order to fulfill its promise of lasting peace.

4. In October, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, closed the preliminary examination on Colombia, active since 2004, citing progress in the transitional justice process as an important factor. In addition, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the President have signed a cooperation agreement by which the Government undertakes to continue to support the efforts of justice, including those of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The agreement recalls that the International Criminal Court may reconsider its decision in the event of significant changes in the circumstances that may impede the relevant proceedings and provides for constant communication between the International Criminal Court, the government and judicial actors. Prosecutor Khan called on all actors to lend their support to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and President Duque said the decision reflected Colombia’s compliance with international obligations.

5. Preparations for the 2022 legislative and presidential elections continue. According to the national civil registry, 2,835 candidates (1,131 women) are vying for 108 seats in the Senate and 188 in the House of Representatives, which will be elected in March, including the 16 transitional special electoral districts for peace. Regarding the presidential elections, the first round of which is scheduled for May 202 2, political actors continue to define alliances and candidates, and some have included the implementation of the final agreement in their platforms.

6. Discussions are ongoing in Congress regarding bills to implement the final agreement, including one on a dedicated judicial mechanism to resolve land disputes, which has not previously passed. Meanwhile, initiatives aimed at reforming the final agreement have been withdrawn or failed, such as those aimed at eliminating or reforming the special jurisdiction for peace, reforms of the land restitution process and reducing the number of seats in Congress. Discussions regarding the ratification of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, which the Government presented to the Congress, are ongoing .

7. In November, the Government of the United States of America revoked its designation of the former guerrilla Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) as a terrorist organization, acknowledging that it had laid down its arms under the Accord and noting that this change would allow for increased support for the peace process, including the reintegration of former combatants. At the same time, the United States Government has designated as terrorist organizations two FARC-EP splinter groups, including their leaders who have either refused to lay down their arms or abandoned the peace process.

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