Colombia will contribute 5,000 to the UN military peacekeeping force in a gradual deployment over the next three years, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Monday.
Santos announced the country’s provision of troops as part of a reform of the military force of 105,000 which today works worldwide on 16 peace operations.
“In the short term we will contribute with 58 men and women of the National Police duly certified by the United Nations who may participate in missions like Haiti or Guinea Bissau, 12 officers of the Armed Forces,” Santos said at a UN General Assembly summit held to rally global support.
“The second year we will contribute with 500 men and military contingent and the third year, with three battalions of up to 5,000 men,” he said.
Colombia does not currently provide any troops to the UN peacekeeping force. This new pledge Santos noted, will however be subject to the “advancement of the peace process.”
The peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC rebels began in November 2012, though in recent months have shown significant developments. The signing of the contentious transitional justice agreement now leaves two remaining agenda points for negotiation.
The two have pledged that a final agreement will be closed within six months.
The UN summit saw over 50 countries pledge to strengthen the forces by an increased 40,000 and a donation of 40 helicopters, 15 engineers and 10 hospitals.
This month Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposed the overhaul of the peacekeeping force. He reinforced at the summit the need for “urgent action” in the face of a general lack of resource combined with new challenges of increasing conflict, terrorism and extreme violence across the globe.