Colombia: these are the implications of the UN Secretary General's visit

António Guterres's visit represents the support of the United Nations for the construction of peace in the country

António Guterres's visit represents the support of the United Nations for the construction of peace in the country

António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, took office on January 1, 2017, and since then his administration has focused on strengthening human dignity and promoting peace. His work has also focused on displacement issues and refugees in conflict zones. Since Guterres was appointed he had not visited Colombia, however, in the context of his experience he knows the country, primarily the conflict zones.

His first official visit to Colombia

On January 10, 2018, his spokesman informed that on January 13, 2018, the Secretary General would make an official visit with the purpose of supporting the peace efforts. During his presence in the Colombian territory, meetings were held with President Juan Manuel Santos, government officials, the Armed Forces, leaders of the FARC and the Catholic Church. Additionally, he held meetings with the United Nations Verification Mission and the Country Team of the agencies that work in Colombia. On his second day in Colombia, the Secretary General visited the Territorial Area of Training and Reincorporation (formerly Veredal area) of the department of Meta, where he stated that "it is inspiring to observe the reintegration and training of ex-combatants of the FARC" and said that "the commitment of the United Nations to the peace of Colombia is total".


This visit is a result of the invitation made by the Head of State and is presented in an important context in the country, because on January 10, 2018, the report of the implementation of the Final Agreement was presented to the Security Council signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP. In this space, the members of the Security Council coincided with the concern of António Guterres for the increase in insecurity in some territories affected by the conflict, the reincorporation of ex-combatants and the assassinations of social leaders, and they were also concerned about the attacks of the ELN in Arauquita and Casanare and for that reason they supported the Secretary General's visit to Colombia on January 13.


Read also: Colombia: How are the peace talks going with the ELN?


What does it mean for Colombia?

The ratification of peace is a challenge for the country, the region, and the world, and to accomplish it international support is essential. For this reason, the fact that the Secretary General makes his first official visit to the country at this time represents that the support of the organization is permanent because the visit took place in a context in which skepticism is high, both because of the obstacles that have been presented for the implementation of the agreement with the FARC as the current uncertainty with the dialogues with the ELN.


Latin American Post | Tatiana Restrepo

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda


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