The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution to expand the organization´s security mission in Colombia that will help verify a bilateral cease-fire between the government and the Marxist ELN guerrillas.
The UN will increase its number of observers to the Second Verification Mission in Colombia that will continue oversight of a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forced of Colombia (FARC) rebel group and a cease-fire with the ELN. No more than 70 observers can be added to the 120 existing,
“We have to make sure that the mission will have adequate funds to verify the cease-fire with the ELN without hindering its remaining tasks,” according to the Swedish representative to the Security Council Olof Skoog.
Security Council members congratulated Colombia for agreeing to peace talks with the ELN and affirmed the UN´s support for the ongoing peace processes with the former FARC guerrillas as well as the ELN.
“It’s important to have a work plan so the mission can achieve its goal. We hope that the mission will respect the Colombian government´s sovereignty and strengthen its communication with it”, said Wu Haitao, China’s envoy to the UN.
A number of countries on the Security Council recognize the bilateral cease-fire with the government and ELN is only a first step.
“We know that this is just the beginning and we understand the difficulties that the parts had to face just to get there,” said British envoy Matthew Ryccoft. “It’s vital to take this opportunity now for we don´t know if this could ever happen again,” he added.