Thursday, November 28, 2013

Colombia: UN Women applauds appointment of women to Colombia's peace negotiating team

Source: UN Women

(New York, 27 November) - Yesterday, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia announced the appointment of two women to sit at the peace table in Havana, where the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are meeting to put an end to 50 years of conflict. We applaud this deliberate effort by President Santos to bring greater gender balance to his negotiating team to bring peace to Colombia.

It is a welcome step that stands in contrast with the absence of women in the vast majority of peace talks and responds to years of tireless advocacy and mobilization by Colombian women’s organizations.

Thirteen years ago, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted, recognizing the vitally effective role of women in peace talks and post-conflict recovery around the world. Since then, the resolution’s call for greater women’s representation has been repeatedly echoed and repeatedly ignored.

Yesterday’s appointments show that in Colombia, the call has finally been heard. María Paulina Riveros and Nigeria Rentería will sit at the negotiating table as plenipotentiaries. We are confident that this will strengthen the team and contribute to finding the peace that has eluded Colombians for so long.

As part of the UN system in Colombia, UN Women has been working to ensure that the voice of Colombian women is heard loud and clear throughout the negotiations.

This conflict has taken a great toll on the lives of Colombian women and girls, but they have not spared any effort or wasted any moment to mobilize for peace at every turn. Through Colombia’s admirable civil society organizations, women have insisted that their vision for stable, inclusive and lasting peace shapes every negotiation and every agreement.

At a peace summit which convened hundreds of women in Bogotá a few weeks ago, delegates were emphatically clear on their central aspiration: that neither side leave the table without a peace deal.

UN Women shares this goal, and we stand ready to support Colombian women in this historic opportunity.