Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón, Colombia's envoy to Washington D.C., discusses the importance for the US to embrace the peace process, a new phase of a decades-old bilateral partnership. Excerpts from an opinion piece Mr. Pinzón published 2/15/17 in The Hill.
[...] "An alliance once narrowly focused on combatting security challenges has matured and expanded to issues critical to the future of both nations and the hemisphere, including advancing cooperation on energy, education and innovation.
"As with Plan Colombia, Peace Colombia will largely be supported by Colombian taxpayers, who will fund more than 90 percent of the initiative. The Peace Colombia effort will lead to additional progress that benefits Americans, including reductions in crime, drug trafficking and illegal mining.
"Broader than that, the initiative will strengthen Colombia and our shared goals. With a track record of progress, Colombia and the United States are well positioned to achieve even more together." The Hill
"20 hi-tec mobile libraries will be deployed to the FARC demobilization zones where fighters will lay down their weapons and begin their transition into legality. Each library includes digital tablets, video cameras, board games, a movie projection system with 30 films and more than 500 books, digital and paper copies. The government has invested US$2 million on this equipment [...]" Pacifista
The United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Norway reiterated their support for the construction of a stable and lasting peace in Colombia with new contributions to the United Nations Fund for Postconflict for a total of USD16.8 million announced this morning at a press conference . The High Councilor for Post-Conflict, Human Rights and Security, who also acts as Co-Chair of the Fund, Rafael Pardo, expressed his gratitude. "On behalf of the Colombian government, I would like to thank the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Norway for the support they have always given to Colombia, even more so at this crucial moment in our history.These contributions will be fundamental to guarantee socio- Economic development of the peace agreements, to bring about a change in the lives of our compatriots and to establish a stable and lasting peace." APC
A multi-donor fund set up by the UN to finance the implementation of Colombia’s peace process has received an additional donation of $16.8 million from several European nations, Colombia’s minister of post-conflict has confirmed. The minister said that the total sum of the UN fund now comes to $56 million following contributions from other United Nation members such as Canada, Switzerland and Ireland. Colombia Reports
Approving some 40 laws via "fast-track" is just one of the "must-happen" events for the peace deal to hold in Colombia. There exist major budgetary constraints affecting a number of public agencies while others remain in the drawing board. Four laws have been presented to the congress including the Amnesty Law. "The rest is all pending". Silla Vacía spoke to experts in each of the agreements six points and they explained what needs to be done for before the peace plan takes off.
Low oil reserves, insufficient infrastructure, persistent security risks and inherent social unrest are the biggest obstacles. In the current oil sector environment those positives might not overweight the risks. Even the government is aware of that, and recently passed tax reform aimed at replacing the old incomes from oil with tax revenue. Global Risks Insights
The fund has a total of €95 million assigned by the EU to reconciliation projects throughout the country, most specifically in areas related to rural development focusing on the Peace Agreement. Zones particularly affected by the armed conflict and that, in collaboration with the Colombian government, were given priority status. The EU has also worked in these areas for years. In Northern Chocó, the project Fronteras for Paz was chosen. In Tierradentro, the project Paz Adentro; in the Macarena, the project known as Más Capaz was given priority status; and in North Valle, Rutas para la Paz. These projects will receive 11 billion Colombian pesos. El Espectador
"More than 300,000 people have lost their lives and millions have been displaced as a result of this brutal conflict. Over the last ten years, Germany has stood by those affected in Colombia by providing more than 370 million euros of development cooperation in addition to humanitarian assistance'"