Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (50)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

50. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which the situation in Colombia continues to be monitored by the international community; the extent to which progress in the peace process continues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28726/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I continue to follow closely developments in Colombia’s peace process. Together with European Union and UN colleagues, I welcome progress made to date and I encourage the parties to the talks to continue their work with a view to securing a comprehensive peace agreement as soon as possible.

Three areas of the negotiations are now subject to provisional agreement. These are the agenda items dealing with land reform and rural development, political participation and illicit drugs. Negotiators are now discussing issues relating to victims.

On 7 June last, the Government of Colombia and the FARC issued a joint declaration on shared principles for discussing issues relating to victims. In this way, the parties to the talks have agreed to place concerns relating to the victims of the conflict at the heart of their discussions.

I join with EU and UN representatives in welcoming this significant development. The EU’s readiness to support Colombia at this critical juncture in the peace process and in the implementation of a peace agreement has also been reiterated.

I understand that the UN will have a role in this process as the Government and the FARC have requested that the UN organise consultations with victims. The negotiators have indicated that they will invite a victims’ delegation to the meet with negotiators.

Ireland will continue to follow closely developments in the Colombian peace process and to work with the international community to support a negotiated solution to the conflict in Colombia.