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OAS Secretary General Welcomes the Agreement on Peace Negotiations in Colombia

  November 7, 2013

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today welcomed the agreement on guarantees for the exercise of political opposition and citizen participation announced yesterday in Havana in the negotiations for peace in Colombia. "I think with this Colombia has taken a very clear step in the direction of peace; others still remain, but yesterday makes us much more optimistic," he said.

The leader of the hemispheric institution said that "the best way to bring peace, to bring a peace process, to heal the spirits, to lay down arms, is through participation in politics, because politics is the way to approach people’s problems in search of solutions." He immediately admitted that this option "requires a major concession from those who have participated in the armed struggle, who have to lay down their weapons and submit fully to the rules of the democratic game, and also from those who have suffered the consequences of many years of terrible conflict, who have to accept that these adversaries who have used violence now can make their demands through political action."

According to Insulza, "that's what is required from all involved to make peace.” "The peace negotiations are the only real possibility and there are no unconditional surrenders," he added. "Clearly the people who turn over their weapons should be able to take part in politics, otherwise we have no peace, it is as simple as that," he concluded.

According to the Colombian government, the negotiators in Cuba reached five agreements relating to the future political participation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC): to implement a comprehensive security system for the exercise of politics; to develop a mechanism to expedite a Statute for the Opposition; to promote rules ensuring participation; to create an Electoral Mission of experts; and create Special Temporary Constituencies of Peace in the House of Representatives for the territories that have suffered the most violence.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-419/13