Press Release

IACHR Welcomes the Signing of Agreement for the Construction of Peace in Colombia

August 29, 2016

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the signing of the "Final agreement for the termination of the conflict and building a stable and lasting peace" between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army ( FARC - EP), on August 24, 2016.

The Inter-American Commission commends Colombia for having reached this historic final agreement ending the conflict with the FARC. The official signing will be held in September and will be submitted to a plebiscite on October 2 this year. The Commission welcomes the efforts made by the State for the progressive realization of each of the terms that integrate this agreement and understands that full compliance with the State's obligations on human rights must be a central aspect for its consolidation and implementation.

"As we have said before, to achieve peace is essential to prevent further serious human rights violations in Colombia," said IACHR Country Rapporteur, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco. "In particular, we welcome the fact that the agreement contains a specific chapter on the rights of victims. This is an aspect of the utmost importance. The Commission is analyzing the said chapter, as well as the whole content of the agreement, but the fact of its particular existence is very remarkable and so we recognize it, "he added.

The Commission maintains its conviction regarding that the consolidation of peace is a required prerequisite for the exercise and respect of human rights. Aware of the challenges facing the State and Colombian society as a whole in this new stage, the Commission reiterates its commitment and willingness to cooperate with the peace process and will follow up the implementation of the agreement within the framework of their duties.

Regarding the upcoming plebiscite on this agreement, the Commission calls on the State to enable mechanisms to ensure effective access to information on the agreement to those who will exercise the right to vote and that the public debate on this plebiscite ensure the participation of all actors in an environment of pluralism and tolerance of diverse opinions.

The Commission encourages the State and society as a whole to continue their efforts to ensure a sustained transition to peace in full respect for human rights.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 121/16