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Welcoming progress in arms laydown in Colombia, UN chief reiterates support to peace process

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today that he has been “encouraged” by the progress in Colombian peace process and called on the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) to continue to implement their respective commitments under the accord.

Mr. Guterres also reiterated the readiness of the UN to continue to support the peace process in the South American country, as required, read a statement issued today.

In a major milestone yesterday, the UN Mission in the country received a total of 2,300 weapons – just over 30 per cent of the arms of FARC-EP registered and identified by it – which are have been placed in its containers.

This timeline was agreed between the Government and FARC-EP on 29 May.

Also yesterday, Mission officials and those from the national Office of the High Commissioner for Peace travelled to the camps and started delivery of certificates and accreditations that will allow FARC-EP members formally start their reintegration into civilian life after the laying down of arms.

“Both factors constitute a major event that attests to the willingness of the parties to respond to the hope created in Colombia and the international community by the signing of the Peace Agreement in November last year,” the UN mission noted in a news release issued today.

The arms laydown process – a major component in the peace agreement – includes five distinct steps including: registration and identification of weapons, monitoring and verification of the holding of weapons, reception and storage of arms, neutralization of arms (to ensure that they will never again be used as firearms), and extraction of arms from camps.