The Colombian Peace Agreement was signed four years ago this Saturday, but not enough has been done to make it a success. On the contrary. Objectives are not met and violence is everywhere. So on September 26, the Colombian collective of civil society organisations Defendamos la Paz (Let us defend peace) presents ‘The world demands peace’. An international, virtual conference towards the implementation of the Colombian Peace Agreement.
The urgency for this conference lies in the fact that the much anticipated peace agreement has been facing unsettling setbacks. The main reason, undoubtedly, has to do with the reluctance of Colombia’s current government to implement key provisions of the peace agreement. Such as rural land reform, illicit crop substitution and providing safety guarantees for conflict-ridden communities.
Escalation of violence
This negligence has provoked dramatic escalation of violence over the past years, thereby shattering the hope that the signing of the peace agreement sparked only four years ago. Lately, massacres ramped up and more than 150 social leaders have been killed in the first six months of 2020. Journalists, environmental and human rights activists, and ex-combatants of FARC have also been systematically targeted.
The date of the conference coincides with the 4-year anniversary of the signing of the Colombian Peace Agreement in the city of Cartagena between former president Juan Manuel Santos and former FARC-EP leader Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko. Among others, this conference will draw attention to the situation of social leaders and ex-combatants, to the functioning of the transitional justice system created in the wake of the peace agreement, and to the investments needed in Colombia’s rural areas.
High profile guests
A number of high-profile guests will speak at the conference, such as former Nobel Peace Prize winners José Ramos Horta and Juan Manuel Santos, US and European congressmen, former negotiators of peace processes, the Head of the United Nations Verification Mission, representatives of Colombia’s Transitional Justice System, members of the international community accredited in Colombia, as well as representatives of social and victims’ organizations.