UN Security Council to monitor ceasefire in Colombia

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'It is good news that the Colombian Government and Farc-EP have asked the UN Security Council to set up a mission to monitor a definitive bilateral ceasefire and the laying down of arms,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The role of the UN mission will be to coordinate and lead a mechanism to monitor and verify a definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and the laying down of arms, to report on the situation and to help resolve any disputes. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) will provide personnel for the mechanism, which will become operational once a final peace agreement is in place.

'It is important for a neutral third party such as the UN to assist the parties by monitoring compliance with an agreement on a ceasefire and the laying down of arms,' Mr Brende said.

The Colombian peace process, which was formally launched in Oslo in October 2012, is now in its final phase. In December 2015, the parties reached an agreement on the rights of the victims, which included an agreement to establish a special tribunal to prosecute those responsible for committing the most serious crimes. Norway and Cuba are acting as facilitators of the peace talks. The parties are expected to sign a final peace agreement in the next few months.