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Colombia: Establishing Peace

Volume 734: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2023

10. What diplomatic steps he is taking to support the Colombian Government to establish peace in that country. (905346)

We share Colombia’s delight for the rescue of the four children in the Amazon. We commend the efforts of all those who took part in the inspiring search and rescue.

During his visit to Colombia last month, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met President Petro and Foreign Minister Leyva and discussed our ongoing support for the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement in Colombia. Through our conflict, stability and security fund, which has now committed £80 million since 2015, we will continue to support the implementation of the peace agreement and improved stability and security in Colombia.

Colombia’s Attorney General Barbosa was appointed under the previous Government, who oversaw numerous human rights scandals, including the killing of protesters by police. Barbosa is now harming President Petro’s “total peace” policy by blocking the lifting of arrest warrants that would enable some leaders to come to the negotiating table. As UN Security Council penholder for the Colombian peace agreement, what technical and financial assistance can the Government provide to ensure that all of Colombia’s institutions are supporting peace?

As I have said, we are working very closely together at the highest level. The Foreign Secretary has met President Petro and the Foreign Minister to push the cause for peace, and I was fortunate to attend the UN Security Council in January. We want to continue to tackle the challenges in Colombia, working with our Colombian counterparts, and we have put serious investment into that cause to back up our penholder relationship.