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House of Commons Hansard
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Colombia Peace Process
02 April 2019
Volume 657

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6. What assessment he has made of the progress on the Colombia peace process. [910166]

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Since 2016, Colombia has made significant progress in its peace process; the FARC is now a political party and the last elections were the safest in decades. I reaffirmed our full support for the peace process with the Colombian Foreign Minister on 4 February in Ottawa. The UK has expressed concern to the Colombian Government over delays in the transitional justice system, which is a critical part of the peace process. We continue to support the process through the conflict stability and security fund.

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I understand that there were a couple more paramilitary killings last week. Did the Minister read the report by Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur, who has said that the national landscape continues to be plagued by violence, particularly gender-based violence? Will the Minister put the problem of the continuing structural gender-based violence in Colombia on the agenda for the November conference on the preventing sexual violence initiative?

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Yes, I certainly will, because preventing sexual violence against women is one of the UK’s human rights priorities in Colombia. Indeed, Foreign Office officials recently met the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) to discuss that. I hope that illustrates once again the extent to which we are really working together across the House to tackle these vexed problems at all levels, in every way we can.