NEW YORK, 27 September 2017 (UN News): The second post-conflict United Nations mission in Colombia has started its operations, succeeding the UN entity which was mandated to verify the implementation agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) concerning the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, and laying down of arms.
“We are pleased that the laying down of weapons has been successfully concluded,” said Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Colombia and the head of the UN Verification Mission in the country, in a news release yesterday.
Noting that the transition has offered an opportunity to redouble efforts to bring peace to all corners of the country, he added: “Through our follow-up and verification activities, [we] will continue to support Colombia in its process of building a firm and lasting peace.”
Established by the UN Security Council in July, the purpose of the Mission is to accompany the parties and verify their commitments regarding points 3.2 and 3.4 of the Final Peace Agreement on the reintegration of former FARC-EP members, and the implementation of measures of protection and security for communities in territories most affected by the conflict.
Across the country, the Mission will have ten regional offices and will continue to maintain presence at the twenty-six Territorial Area for Training and Reincorporation. In addition, it will also establish seven sub-offices in different parts of the country.
The Verification Mission starts its activities immediately upon the conclusion of the mandate of the first UN Mission in Colombia, which was established by the Security Council in January last year 2016. That Mission was mandated with the verification of the Agreement between the Government and FARC-EP on the Bilateral and Definitive Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying down of Arms (Ceasefire Agreement).