Norway's peace and reconciliation efforts to be stepped up

'Norwegian engagement in peace and reconciliation work is more important than ever, and the Government is proposing to step up these efforts in 2018. At the same time, we intend to increase our support for implementation of the Colombian peace agreement,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Conflict resolution and contributions to reconciliation are key elements of Norwegian development policy. Norway is currently engaged in a number of initiatives and processes, for example in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and the Philippines. With the proposed increase of NOK 20 million, overall support for work in the field of peace, reconciliation and democracy will total NOK 436 million.

Norway has played a key role as facilitator for the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the guerrilla group Farc-EP. Norway is also acting as facilitator in the ongoing negotiations between the Colombian Government and the ELN guerrilla group. The parties agreed on a temporary bilateral ceasefire in September this year.

'In the time ahead, it will be essential to ensure that the peace agreement with Farc is implemented, that former Farc soldiers are reintegrated into Colombian society, and that an agreement is reached between the Colombian Government and the ELN. These will also be the main priorities of Norway's efforts,' said Mr Brende.

Norway has provided substantial financial support for the peace process in Colombia, and the Government is proposing to increase support for implementation of the peace agreement by NOK 50 million in 2018. According to the proposal, the funding will come from the regional allocation for Latin America.