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Zeid welcomes ratification of new Colombia peace deal

GENEVA (1 December 2016)  – UN High Commissioner for Human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has welcomed the ratification by the Colombian Congress of a revised peace agreement with the Farc rebel group that aims to end more than five decades of conflict.

“I urge the Government, all political parties, including the opposition, as well as civil society, to put aside their differences, and start working for the accord’s prompt implementation,” the High Commissioner said.

The UN Human Rights Office is among those entities that have been given an important  role in the peace agreement,  and will monitor and report on the implementation of all aspects relating to human rights.

“Colombia - despite the conflict, the killings, displacement, abuses and violations that have taken place - has made tremendous advances in human rights in the 19 years that our Office has been in the country,” Zeid said. 

“Great efforts will be required by all to ensure that the accord translates into a lasting peace and significant improvements in the human rights of Colombians. And, as I indicated during my visit to Colombia in September this year, I will not shy away from speaking out in the event of any serious violations or omissions by the Government or Farc,” he added.

“But it is precisely because of the importance of this moment in Colombia’s history that I and my Office are honored and determined to continue assisting the country and its people in their path towards a peace based on sound human rights principles,” Zeid concluded.

ENDS

Background information:

The UN Human Rights Office has been present in Colombia since 1997 with a mandate to monitor and report on international human rights law and international Human Rights violations, and to provide advice and technical cooperation to national institutions and civil society organizations. It has offices in 14 cities. 

UN Mission: The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2261, on 25 January 2016, to establish a political mission of unarmed international observers to monitor and verify the laying down of arms, and be part of the tripartite mechanism that will monitor and verify the definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, following the signing of a peace agreement. 

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Rupert Colville + 41 22 917 8767 / rcolville@ohchr.org
Liz Throssell  - +41 22 917 9477 / ethrossell@ohchr.org 
Ravina Shamdasani  +41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org

In Colombia: Diana Losada  (+57 1) 658 3300 Ext. 1109  or (+57 1) 310 270 9465
dlosada@hchr.org.co

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