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Minister Flanagan welcomes Colombia Peace Agreement

United Nations, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister Charles Flanagan, Ireland, Northern Ireland Peace Process, Press Releases, Latin America, 2016

 

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s historic signature of a peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas) in Havana, Cuba.


Ireland has been a strong supporter of the Colombian Peace Process and former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is the EU Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process.


Speaking after the signing of the Agreement, Minister Flanagan stated:


“Today is an historic moment for the people of Colombia and the surrounding region.


‘The conflict in Colombia has devastated the lives of generations of people and today the more than 200,000 people who lost their lives in this horrific conflict and their loved ones are foremost in my thoughts.


“Today’s landmark agreement gives the citizens of Colombia the prospect of a brighter, more peaceful future. I congratulate President Juan Manuel Santos for his courage in pursuing peace and all the parties to the talks who have worked for nearly four years to reach this point.


“Our own history of conflict on this island gives us a particular interest in conflict resolution and this is reflected in our foreign policy priorities. Earlier this year, a mission from my Department visited Colombia to assess how Ireland could support the implementation of a peace agreement, including by drawing lessons from the peace process in Northern Ireland.


“We will continue to offer support to Colombia in the implementation of this important peace agreement, recognising that faithful implementation is critical to the success of any peace agreement.”

 

ENDS
Press Office
23 June 2016

Notes for Editors
The Agreement on a Bilateral and Final Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities was signed by President Santos of Colombia and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez in Havana today. It brings to an end a 52 year conflict which has claimed more than 200,000 lives. The signing was witnessed by the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, as well as the Presidents of Chile, Cuba and Venezuela and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, Borge Brende. The European Union’s Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process, former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, was also present.


The recommendations of the Department of Foreign affairs’ mission included support for an EU Trust Fund for Colombia and for the Government of Colombia’s 21-point plan for the implementation of the accord. This is in addition to support provided by Irish Aid for human rights organisations in Colombia.


Former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore was appointed as the EU’s Special Envoy to the Colombia talks in November 2015. Mr Gilmore’s role is to convey the political support of the EU for the peace process, especially in the implementation phase. He is tasked with working with the Colombian Government and other stakeholders in Colombia, and with EU Member States and the European Parliament.


Ireland has also supported the Colombia talks through funding to the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) which has provided technical and policy advice to the negotiation process.