UN congratulates Colombia over peace talks restart

The United Nations mission in Colombia on Thursday praised the government and the FARC guerrilla for their decision to resume the peace talks in Havana next week.

In a statement, the UN encouraged both sides to move forward with greater determination to successfully conclude the negotiations after overcoming the crisis in recent days.

“We salute the decision of the parties involved to prioritize the search for an agreement to relive the conflict. Such measures are urgent at this point in the process, both in alleviating the great suffering the war causes in Colombia every day and in generating more public confidence in the peace talks,” reads the statement published by the organization on Thursday.

In the statement, the intergovernmental organization also informed that during the next round of negotiations, the fifth an the last victims’ delegation will pay a visit to Havana. It will be the first delegation made of women’s organizations.

MORE: Colombia peace talks delegations announce resumption of negotiations

Meanwhile, after arriving in Havana, the chief negotiator for the Colombian government in the peace talks, Humberto de Calle reassured of a positive atmosphere of the meeting to evaluate the process. He also explained the importance of measures to relieve the armed conflict.

De la Calle described the decision to resume the talks as good news for Colombia, also for those who have their qualms about peace.

“The decisions taken yesterday are sound with the wish to have free and unobstructed talks. They don’t mean lengthening of the process or a change to the model of negotiations,” said the leader of the governmental delegation on Thursday.

He then specified that the government is not considering a temporary ceasefire, an armistice or a truce, before adding that “when we are discussing relieving of the conflict, we mean possible measures aimed at ending the conflict altogether.

“We are not discussing regulation to the war but its end. However, we are considering initial measures, more of humanitarian than military nature, which would decrease the intensity of the confrontation,” pointed out de la Calle.

The chief negotiator confirmed the visit of the fifth delegation of victims to Havana in the coming round of talks. He also emphasized that the sub-commission “End of Conflict” and the gender commission will continue their work. The latter will receive a group of national and foreign experts in the field of gender in the context of armed conflict.

Colombia’s government delegates and FARC rebels announced on Wednesday that they have overcome a “crisis” in ongoing peace talks that surged after the guerrillas captured an army general.

In a joint communique, the two delegations present in Havana, Cuba, said that “we consider the crisis overcome” and “have agreed that the next round of conversations will take place between December 10 and 17.”

Sources

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