President Ivan Duque asked the United Nations to continue monitoring Colombia’s peace process until 2034 amid concerns over escalating violence.
Duque asked the UN to extend its monitoring mandate in Colombia a day after the president defended his government’s implementation of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC before the Security Council.
The UN mission in Colombia has been monitoring the peace process on behalf of the Security Council.
The UN’s current mandate to monitor the process was set to expire on October 31.
Don’t look at us as if you were auditing the Colombian peace process. No. Feel that you are part of the Colombian peace process and feel that everything that is done correctly can become a reference, a model for the rest of the world, and that is another contribution that you can make to improve other processes.
President Ivan Duque
The president’s request comes amid major concerns over his reluctance to implement the peace deal that has been fiercely opposed by Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party.
The UN’s mission chief in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz, on Tuesday said that “the sustainability of the process is still contingent upon additional efforts, including to halt the violence.”
According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, more than 274 people were affected by violence in the first two months of the year alone.
We met with authorities, civil society organizations and members of the communities, and what we heard was a desperate plea for help. We conveyed our support to those affected as well as the urgency for authorities to take appropriate actions to improve the situation. We also called on armed groups, once more, to immediately cease violence and respect international humanitarian law.
UN mission chief Carlos Ruiz
The Duque administration is set to leave office in August. The most powerful candidates to succeed the president have vowed to implement elements that have been ignored by the outgoing government.
The UN has also repeatedly called for the “comprehensive” implementation of the peace deal as opposed to the current government’s selective implementation.
Duque has been accused of failing to comply with the peace deal for his failure to set up the “National Commission for Security Guarantees,” which may be linked to escalating violence.
The Commission is meant to formulate policies that would allow the dismantling of paramilitary organizations and other illegal armed groups that continue to terrorize the population.
The UN has also stressed the importance of reforms to improve the situation on the countryside and to effectively combat drug trafficking, some of the main causes of violence.