(June 23, 2016) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, congratulated President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and its people for the signing today in Havana, Cuba of the definitive bilateral cease-fire agreement that puts an end to more than half a century of armed conflict in that country.
“This is an achievement of the Colombian people as a whole, an expression of their maturity, their commitment to silencing the guns and building a society where differences are resolved with the tools of democracy,” said the most senior representative of the United Nations regional organization.
The following is the text of Alicia Bárcena’s complete statement:
More than half a century of confrontation in the heart of Latin America and the Caribbean concludes today thanks to the generous will of the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The dialogue, the drive to reach understandings and the active clamoring of an entire society that longed for peace have built the foundation for today’s signing of a definitive bilateral cease-fire agreement.
This is an achievement of the Colombian people as a whole, an expression of their maturity, their commitment to silencing the guns and building a society where differences are resolved with the tools of democracy, in public forums, with the participation of everyone, debating ideas and projects, submitted to citizens’ sovereignty without recurring to the brutal resource of violence.
Colombia sets the solid bases today for an auspicious tomorrow. A tomorrow in which the ability of its people, its vast natural and human riches, can be unfolded without threat, to build a more just, prosperous and egalitarian society. This outcome is also a tangible demonstration of our region’s endogenous ability to resolve its own conflicts.
Those of us who work at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) pay our homage in recognition of Colombia, to the women and men that for many years have worked to build the architecture for a possible peace, and who never flagged in their commitment to overcome the language of force.
In this new stage, ECLAC renews its commitment to continue accompanying, within our humble capacities, Colombia’s efforts to consolidate a definitive peace and carry out its own project for national development.
Today, as the last of the armed conflicts weighing on our region draws to an end, we also seek to recognize the governments of Cuba and Norway, whose countries served as guarantors of the process, as well as Chile and Venezuela, which accompanied the talks. All of their efforts have written one of the brightest chapters of diplomacy and multilateral commitment, with our best civilizing values.