In what is being described as a ‘historic’ decision, the UN Security Council have voted unanimously to set up a mission in Colombia to monitor an eventual peace deal between the FARC and the Colombian government
Calling it a “major boost from the highest authority in the world to all Colombians”, President Juan Manuel Santos thanked all the countries who have expressed support for the peace process.
The January 25 decision comes after a request from both sides of the negotiating table in Havana six days previously, that asked the UN to lead a tripartite mechanism that would settle disputes and verify the terms of weapon surrender.
The UN contingent would be made up of observers from CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean) countries who would work alongside the government for a for a period of 12 months, beginning once a final peace deal has been signed.
The next step will be for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to present detailed recommendations to the security council on the sale and operational aspects, so that it can be implemented within 30 days of any peace deal.
The topic will be on the agenda at the CELAC annual conference that is about to start in Quito, Ecuador. Santos is flying to Ecuador today (January 26) to attend the summit.
Negotiations to end over 50 years of conflict began in November 2012 and have made significant steps forward in recent months – particularly with an agreement on the thorny issue of transitional justice, and a commitment to the signing of a full peace accord by March this year.