UN Human Rights Office Welcomes New Colombia Peace Deal

Internally displaced children, victims of conflict in Colombia. UN Photo / Mark Garten
Internally displaced children, victims of conflict in Colombia. UN Photo / Mark Garten

UN High Commissioner for Human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has welcomed the ratification by the Colombian Congress of a revised peace agreement with the Farc rebel group that aims to end more than five decades of conflict.

“I urge the Government, all political parties, including the opposition, as well as civil society, to put aside their differences, and start working for the accord’s prompt implementation,” the High Commissioner said.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have expressed hope for the swift implementation of the peace agreement for the benefit of all Colombians.

In separate statements Thursday, the UN chief and the 15-member Council also commended the parties in the country for their continued commitment to bring the 50-year long conflict to an end.

The UN Human Rights Office is among those entities that have been given an important role in the peace agreement, and will monitor and report on the implementation of all aspects relating to human rights.

“Colombia – despite the conflict, the killings, displacement, abuses and violations that have taken place – has made tremendous advances in human rights in the 19 years that our Office has been in the country,” Zeid said.

“Great efforts will be required by all to ensure that the accord translates into a lasting peace and significant improvements in the human rights of Colombians. And, as I indicated during my visit to Colombia in September this year, I will not shy away from speaking out in the event of any serious violations or omissions by the Government or Farc,” he added.

“But it is precisely because of the importance of this moment in Colombia’s history that I and my Office are honored and determined to continue assisting the country and its people in their path towards a peace based on sound human rights principles,” Zeid concluded.

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