A U.N. representative says that negotiations alone will not bring peace to Colombia, and that the government needs to create the conditions for a “true” solution to the country’s conflict.
Bruno Moro, of the United Nations Development Program, was in Colombia Friday to hear a presentation about an international conference on peace to be held in Bogota at the end of October.
Moro said he supports President Juan Manuel Santos‘ statement that he would lead any negotiations with armed rebel groups, rather than working through intermediaries.
The U.N. representative said that the Colombian government cannot abandon dialogue, but also urged the government not to believe that coming to an agreement with armed groups would mean that the country would be at peace.
“To sign a peace agreement is not the same as ending the conflict,” Moro said. “You have to create conditions under which what [Santos has suggested] can become reality, to see a creation of a culture of peace.”
“If in the face of the recent atrocities, we begin a dialogue or [a search for] political solutions [to the conflict,] we would be making terrorism worthwhile,” the representative said.
Colombia must avoid get caught in the “paradox” of seeing more deaths after a conflict ends than while it was going on, as has been seen in other countries, Moro said.