Promoting the Peace in Colombia

On August 7th, 2018, President-elect Ivan Duque Marquez was sworn into office. Multiple questions have arisen regarding the future of the Peace Agreement and the changes that the new government has announced in relation to its implementation. The Agreement aims to put an end to the Colombian armed conflict while promoting the building of stable and lasting peace.

The newly elected President has announced his intention to amend the policy initiatives that would fulfill the Agreement. This raises concern regarding the progress, obstacles and regressions that could occur during the Agreement’s implementation.

The Final Peace Agreement has been deposited with the Swiss Federal Council in Bern within the framework of International Humanitarian Law. It has also been deposited with the United Nations Security Council, guarantor of its application.

The Governments of Norway, Chile, Venezuela and Cuba are both mediators and guarantors of the Agreement. In addition, various governments and institutions of the European Union have shown their political and economic support to the full implementation of the Peace Agreement.

By ratifying the Peace Agreement, the Colombian State has made a commitment to the international community that it will work to ensure its implementation and to build a stable and lasting peace.

Furthermore, implementing the Agreement must be the priority of a public policy for peace. This obligation was confirmed by a ruling from the Constitutional Court of Colombia.

In this context, European and Colombian civil society organizations are jointly calling for the holding of a European Conference in Brussels, in November 2018. The conference will be open to governments and European institutions, as well as international organizations involved in Colombia’s peace process.

A Civil Society initiative for Peace in Colombia

One of the first exercises of citizen diplomacy for peace in Colombia took place in 2000, when Plan Colombia was starting and in the delicate context of the Caguan negotiations. On this occasion, various Colombian, European, American and Canadian civil society organizations held an International Conference in Costa Rica. This conference brought together representatives from 36 countries, international organizations and a diverse and plural group of delegates from Colombian civil society. This effort was successful and it was positively recognized as a positive experience in peace building.

The European Conference for the Monitoring of Peace in Colombia is an initiative from European and Colombian civil societies, to be held in the presence of governments and institutions from all across Europe. This conference aims to contribute to the establishment of a stable and lasting peace by ensuring the monitoring of the implementation of the Peace Agreement. It is a new civil diplomacy initiative for peace.

In the context of the conference, the new Colombian government will present a report regarding the Agreement and its implementation within the framework of the commitments made by the state. It will present the progress, obstacles and challenges. The congress will learn about the use of the resources from the European Union Fiduciary Fund for Peace in Colombia as well as the resources issued from the various European cooperation mechanisms for peace in the context of government transition.

The new government will have to report on the implementation of the Agreement on a normative level, both constitutional and legal. It will also outline its willingness, as well as that of the Colombian Parliament, to hold and fulfill the commitments of the State.

Finally, multiple national and international reports on the implementation of the Agreement will be presented, as two years have passed since it was signed by President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC-EP leader Rodrigo Londoño.

This document works as an introduction to the Conference. It is a preliminary text, currently being reviewed, and it remains open to any proposals from European and Colombian organizations that will participate to this process.