Remarks by Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations Organization, at the signing ceremony of the agreements on a bilateral, final ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities, the laying down of arms, and guarantees of security reached between the government of Colombia and FARC-EP, Havana, June 23, 2016, “Year 58 of the Revolution.”
(In Spanish) Your Excellency Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz, President of Cuba,
Your Excellency Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia,
Distinguished Heads of State and government,
Mr. Timoleón Jiménez,
The honorable Mogens Lykketoft, president of the United Nations General Assembly
The honorable François Delattre, president of the United Nations Security Council
Distinguished members of the diplomatic community and honorable hosts,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning, it is an honor to be with you on this important day for Colombia and for Latin America and the Caribbean.
I am very pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to once again enjoy the hospitality of Cuba.
(In English) On this day, in a world beset by seemingly intractable wars, the peace process in Colombia delivers on a key commitment: an agreement on a ceasefire and the laying down of weapons.
Today the Colombian peace process validates the perseverance of all those around the world who work to end violent conflict not through the destruction of the adversary, but through the patient search for compromise.
I want to express my great admiration for the negotiating teams, which have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve peace with dignity for all concerned. They have overcome tense moments and challenging issues to arrive at an historic achievement.
I also congratulate the Governments of Cuba and Norway, which have devoted considerable diplomatic skills to this peace process. Together with the accompanying countries, Chile and Venezuela, they have shown how national peace efforts can be supported faithfully, discreetly and effectively.
Six months ago, the United Nations Security Council and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, responded to the call of the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP, and made a commitment to support the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the laying down of weapons.
The signing of this essential component of the peace agreement will strengthen this commitment. It will now be crucial to mobilize the people and resources required for monitoring and verification.
We know that peace talks continue, and that significant issues are still outstanding. But we trust that today’s achievement will provide renewed momentum towards the last phase of the negotiations.
Expectations are now high that the vision articulated in the agreements reached over the past three years will soon become a reality. I strongly encourage you to fulfill these hopes.
We at the United Nations are determined to do everything we can, alongside the Government and the FARC-EP, to translate a remarkable negotiating process into exemplary implementation of the peace commitments made.
In my last year as Secretary-General of the United Nations, it is truly a privilege to participate in this historic event. It is an honor to be by your side in laying the groundwork for lasting peace and a better future for all the country’s people.
Let us now work together so that the promise of peace made today in Havana is fulfilled in Colombia.
Thank you very much. (Applause)