Members of congress representing countries across the world, converged on Bogota for the 35 Annual Parliamentary Forum, showing support for ongoing peace talks between Colombia’s government and FARC rebels.
At the start of the event, Ross Robertson, president of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), said, “to fight for peace, we are here to give positive energy. We sustain peace. We are legislators and we can make the difference, we can alert our institutions to support the Colombian peace process.”
The PGA forum was called “Building a stable and durable peace: the role of parliamentarians in support of peace processes.”
“All the parliamentarians here and the members of PGA should focus ourselves on the desire of ordinary people to live in peace,” said Robertson.
President of Colombia’s House of Representatives, Hernan Penagos, said the talks would specifically deal with the trade of weapons between states, hoping to establish “global arms treaty.”
“This Congress has been an important protagonist in the peace talks in Havana, although the president is in charge of the talks, the congress has not been passive in what’s going on,” said Penagos.
President of the Constitutional Court Jorge Palacio said that no Colombian could ignore the internal conflict at the moment, arguing that internal and government forgiveness were crucial in achieving peace.
Congressman Ivan Cepeda said that garnering the support of international institution was important to achieve “an irreversible peace.”
The FARC, Colombia’s largest and oldest-living rebel group, is currently engaged in peace talks with the government. If successful, the negotiations will end nearly 50 years of violence between the rebels and the state.