The United Nations welcomes the intention expressed by both the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to establish a bilateral ceasefire by the end of the year, a spokesperson for the world body said today.
“This would be a decisive step toward ending the conflict,” Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York, in response to a question on the possibility of a ceasefire and recent statements by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
The Government and the FARC have been in talks for the last 33 months, seeking to end a 51-year conflict that has made almost a quarter of a million victims.
“We appreciate the confidence reiterated by President Santos in a United Nations role in the monitoring and verification of a ceasefire, and we note his intention to seek a mandate from the Security Council,” Mr. Dujarric added, noting that the UN and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have been working with the parties, at their invitation, on the design of a monitoring and verification mechanism.
“It is anticipated that the parties will soon finalise their discussions on this point so that a consensual request can be considered by the Security Council of the United Nations,” he stated.
“The Secretary-General hopes that the two sides will seize the upcoming round of talks in Havana as an opportunity to move forward on this point as well as all pending substantive issues,” he underlined, adding that the Secretary-General reaffirms his commitment to the success of the peace process and will continue to lend all possible support through his representative.