The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, today presented to the Permanent Council the semiannual report on the activities of the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS), which welcomes the agreement between the government and the FARC-EP, while calling for continued protection of the rights of the social actors involved and application of the lessons learned so far.
The Twenty-Second Report of the MAPP highlighted the importance of implementing a strategy of social dialogue with effective mechanisms, which will be key to deepen trust between the state and civil society during the post-conflict phase.
The report encourages the country "to continue down the path toward achieving a stable and long-lasting peace." Likewise, it recognizes the challenges that will be faced in the implementation of the agreements, which will “demand greater efforts and a meeting of many more minds."
The document, which covers the activities and efforts carried out in much of 2016, includes a series of recommendations to the Colombian State "with a view to promoting the guarantee of rights to the different actors," among them the security situation of leaders and social, community, ethnic and human rights organizations.
Likewise, the report makes observations regarding the lessons learned from previous peace processes that may serve the current process with the FARC-EP and an eventual agreement with the ELN. "Making the mechanisms and components of the accord a reality at the local level in those places hardest hit by the violence is a task that demands decisive and pragmatic measures,” cites the report.
In his presentation, the Secretary General affirmed that "it is important to bolster the pillars of a culture of dialogue and citizen involvement that leads to a systematic use of mechanisms to address and transform social unrest at all levels," and that for the OAS It is important to “support the work human rights defenders undertake in Colombia, given their valuable contribution to the promotion, respect, and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
The Permanent Representative of Colombia to the OAS, Andrés González, thanked the OAS for its commitment to peace in his country and stated that "this accompaniment is of singular importance because the collaboration provided by all the countries of America and experts of the Organization allows us to see in a better way realities that are complex, that can only be observed in a transparent way under the perception of people who are knowledgeable, who act in good faith, are impartial, and who have been accompanying this task that already achieved very important results.”
The OAS has actively supported Colombia's efforts to achieve peace since 2004 through the MAPP. The mandate of the Mission was extended until December 2018 and was accompanied by a request to monitor the territorial dynamics in areas left by the FARC-EP, with influence of the ELN and with the presence of organized armed groups.
More information on the MAPP is available here.