Press release | Date: 24/11/2016
‘The signing of a new peace agreement gives Colombia the chance to bring an end to decades of armed conflict. Recent armed confrontations show that the ceasefire is fragile, and there is no time to lose in implementing the peace agreement,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
After the referendum on 2 October, President Santos held a far-reaching and inclusive national dialogue with a view to securing as broad support as possible for the new agreement. Despite the fact that the new peace agreement incorporates a number of amendments that were proposed in the national dialogue, it was not possible to gain the support of all of the sceptics. The agreement was signed by the parties to the conflict in Bogota today, and will now be submitted to the congress.
‘The recent increase in the number of human rights defenders and land reform activists killed is deeply worrying. Protection of these groups must be strengthened, and the killings investigated, as set out in the peace agreement,’ said Mr Brende.
The peace talks between the Colombian government and the Farc-EP were formally launched in Oslo in October 2012, and have since been held in Havana. Norway has facilitated the talks, together with Cuba. The armed conflict in Colombia has lasted for more than 50 years, and has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Colombians. More than six million people are internally displaced.