The United Nations Security Council agreed Monday in a special meeting to oversee the final stages of Colombia’s transition to a post-conflict era. Their decision was unanimous.
Representatives of each of the Council’s member nations spoke applauding the peace process and congratulating Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government.
“The Special Political Mission this resolution mandates is an important step towards peace in Colombia,” said United Kingdom ambassador to the U.N. Matthew Rycroft, who drafted the resolution. “I hope that today will mark the start of the final stage in Colombia’s peace talks.”
U.K. diplomats announced last week that they had hoped to have a resolution ready for a vote within weeks, but it took just six days to draft and pass the agreement.
“Colombians have lost loved ones to bombs and bullets, kidnappings and disappearances,” said Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. “It is the prospect of finally ending that violence that brings us here today.”
“With today’s resolution, the Security Council shows that the United Nations stands with the Colombian people as they forge this new future.”
Foreign Minister Holguín wrapped up the meeting with a message of thanks and a call for sustained international involvement in Colombia’s future.
“This decision from the Council is a sign of its commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” she said. “Your willingness to work with Colombia is fundamental to the success of the process.”
The Security Council’s action comes less than one week after Colombia’s government and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) asked the UN to monitor a bilateral ceasefire and disarmament for at least one year after a final peace deal is signed.
Earlier Monday, Humberto de la Calle provided an update on the peace process during Grand Forum Colombia 2016: Where is the Country Going? The event was hosted by Semana and Dinero magazines with the support of Red Más Noticias.
During his presentation, de la Calle mentioned the United Nations role in the post-conflict and called it “an enormous boost to the effectiveness of talks.”
“The ceasefire and bilateral, definitive end of hostilities signifies, in the hands of this international component, guarantees for the FARC and for Colombian society,” said de la Calle.
De la Calle also clarified that there are still issues to be resolved in the peace process, and the next topic of discussion will be the public referendum for the final agreement.
Colombia’s government agreed to hold a plebiscite allowing the public to vote their approval or disapproval of the peace accord. But FARC representatives have voiced their concern over that process.
Next week, President Santos will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Plan Colombia, a massive military and economic aid package signed between President Bill Clinton and President Andrés Pastrana.
Officials from the United States and Colombia are expected to announce new terms in the agreement for the post-conflict era, according to the head of Colombia’ embassy in the United States.