Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council briefing on Colombia —-
Thank you Madam Chair.
At the outset I would like, as others, to express of behalf of the Italian Government my deepest condolences to the people and the Government of Colombia for the victims of the landslide that occurred over last weekend in the city of Mocoa leaving more than 260 dead and many more missing or injured. Italy has immediately activated emergency funding to contribute to the IFRC efforts to assist the Colombian Red Cross.
I would also like to thank the SG and SRSG Arnault for their reporting and efforts to fulfill the UN Mission’s mandate.
Allow me to make three short remarks:
First: we strongly support the Final Peace Agreements and commend the firm commitment of the parties to finally bring to an end a decades long conflict. The historical process we are witnessing would have been unthinkable without the ownership and lead of the Colombian parties. We look forward to the Security Council’s mission in May to directly convey this message to the Authorities and the people of Colombia.
Second: we encourage the parties to intensify their efforts to implement the peace agreements within the agreed deadlines. It is important not to lose the momentum. In this respect we praise the commitment reiterated by the parties to complete the laying down and registration of weapons within the agreed timeline together with the progress on the measures established by the peace agreements on legal, security and socioeconomic issues related to reintegration.
Third: reconciliation and reintegration stand as the key cornerstones of a durable and sustainable settlement. They are preconditions to build confidence, generate an inclusive political dialogue and bring concrete dividends of peace to the population in terms of security and improved living conditions. We are aware of the challenges ahead and stand ready to assist in this endeavor, both bilaterally and at international level the government and the parties.
In this regard, Italy firmly supports the EU action in Colombia, including through the EU Trust Fund for post conflict stabilization and development to which we contributed with 3 million Euro. I also recall our longstanding contribution to UNMAS programs on humanitarian demining and peacebuilding and to OAS activities on mine risk education, psychological assistance and rehabilitation of the victims. We also recently signed three bilateral agreements on judicial cooperation with the Colombian Government.
I would like to conclude by commending the efforts made by the Authorities for protecting and assisting women and children involved in the conflict, as also recognized by the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in its recently adopted Conclusions on Colombia.