Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States also warmly welcomes the continued support of the Security Council to Colombia. The Government of Colombia has made critical progress in implementing the final peace accord with the FARC. As a result of the parties’ commitment and the support of the United Nations, the FARC has peacefully laid down their arms. The last containers with all of those weapons are now in the hands of the United Nations, and the government has already begun the process of reintegrating the former combatants into society.
Colombia has shown the world that commitment to political process and a shared future – along with strong, unified support from the Council and the international community – can bring success in peacebuilding. Colombia is an example for the region and for the world.
But now Colombia faces the challenge of consolidating that peace. The threat to that peace is serious, and it comes in the form of lack of infrastructure, basic services, and rule of law in conflict-affected areas formerly occupied by the FARC, creating a haven for criminal activities, drugs, and violence. Yet we remain focused on building on the gains made and creating the conditions for peace to prosper.
In particular, today’s resolution advances the readiness of the second political mission in helping to address these challenges. We stand ready to partner with Colombia and support the Security Council in the hard work ahead. Additionally, we welcome the announcement of the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, the ELN, of a temporary bilateral ceasefire. The United States joins other members of the Council in expressing our interest in considering how this temporary bilateral ceasefire could be supported by the work of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. We look forward to hearing the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the way forward in the coming days.
With our vote today, the United States underscores that we stand with Colombia – as a steadfast partner and as a friend. The United States has stood with Colombia through times of great challenge, and we continue to stand with you in this moment of hope and opportunity.