UN hails Colombia's ratification of peace deal between gov't, FARC

UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonand the UN Security Council on Thursday welcomed the ratification by the Colombian Congress of a new peace deal signed by the Colombian government and the Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) late Wednesday, in yet another bid to end five decades' civil war.

The secretary-general, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, said that he "is greatly encouraged by the ratification," which he said "constitutes a major milestone in the peace process that reaffirms the hopes shared by all Colombians for a future in peace and prosperity after decades of conflict."

"The secretary-general hopes that all efforts will turn rapidly to the hard work of implementing the agreement, with a particular emphasis on ending violence and bringing the benefits of peace to the regions and to the vulnerable communities hit hardest by the conflict," said the statement.

The secretary-general commended the parties for their continued commitment to the ceasefire, the statement said, adding that Ban reiterated "the full support" of the United Nations to this Colombian-led process of implementation, both through the United Nations Mission in Colombia and the United Nations Country Team.

In a separate press statement, the Security Council also welcomed the ratification, and the council members commended the parties for their commitment to bringing an end to the conflict in Colombia after more than 50 years and congratulated all those who worked constructively in the consultations over recent weeks to produce a new agreement.

"The members of the Security Council recognized the contribution of all parties involved in Colombia's peace process, in particular the Republic of Cuba and the Kingdom of Norway as guarantors, and the Republic of Chile and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as accompanying countries," the statement said.

Colombian legislators ratified the peace deal 130-0 after members of the party of former President Alvaro Uribe, who vigorously opposes the agreement, walked out of the legislative chambers.

The ratification by the lower house came a day after a similar unanimous Senate vote, 75-0, in favor of the treaty, which was also preceded by a walkout by supporters of Uribe, who is now a senator.

More than 220,000 Colombians have been killed in the 52-year-long war, while 360,000 have been forced to flee the country and 6.7 million people displaced.

[ Editor: zyq ]
 

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