As the Government of Colombia and paramilitary forces open formal talks today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged full respect for the ceasefire as well as the concentration of forces in order to allow the discussions to proceed.
"These negotiations should result in the disarmament and demobilization of paramilitaries, with the ultimate aim of ending paramilitarism in Colombia," a UN spokesman in New York, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement. "The process should not permit blanket amnesties or de facto impunity."
The Secretary-General "reiterates his belief that the rights of truth, justice and reparations for victims must be fully respected," Mr. Dujarric added.
The statement also recognized the important role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the talks.