Colombia: Final, Integral and Definitive Peace Accord

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Colombia: Final, Integral and Definitive Peace Accord

Joint Communiqué (# 93) of the Peace Delegations of the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP

Wednesday 24th of August 2016

PREAMBLE

Remembering that the dialogues in Havana between delegates of the National Government of President Juan Manuel Santos and delegates of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Army of the People [las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP], pursuant to their mutual decision to put an end to the national armed conflict, originated as a result of an Exploratory Meeting that took place in the capital of the Republic of Cuba between the 23rd of February and the 26th of August 2012;

Recording that as a result of the exploratory dialogues the two parties produced a General Accord for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Durable Peace, signed on the 26th of August 2012 in the presence of national witnesses as well as delegates of the Republic of Cuba and of the Kingdom of Norway, who also served as witnesses and have accompanied the process as guarantor countries since that time;

Recording that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Chile have offered their assistance at all times as countries accompanying the dialogues;

Recording that in the development of the agenda approved in the General Accord the Table of Conversations commenced on the 18th of October 2012 in the city of Oslo, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway, and subsequently continued in the Cuban capital continuously until today with the signing of the Final Accord for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Durable Peace;

Emphasizing that the Final Accord corresponds to the free manifestation of the will of the National Government and the FARC-EP, having laboured in good faith and with the firm intention of fulfilling what has been agreed to;

Recording that Article 22 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Colombia imposes peace as a fundamental right and a duty that must be fulfilled; that Article 95 affirms that the quality of being Colombian extols all members of the national community to exalt and dignify the nation of Colombia; that the exercise of the rights and liberties recognized in the Constitution entails corresponding responsibilities, among which is the duty to achieve and maintain peace;

Emphasizing that peace has been universally qualified as a human right, and a requisite for the exercise of all other rights and duties of the people and all citizens;

Noting that the Final Accord includes all of the accords concluded in the course of the dialogues pursuant to the Agenda of the General Accord established in Havana in August of 2012; and that in order to achieve the Accord the National Government and the FARC-EP have at every moment been guided by respect for the spirit of the National Constitution, the principles of International Law and Human Rights, of International Humanitarian Law (and all associated Conventions and Protocols), of the mandates of the Statute of Rome (International Criminal Law), of the judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights relating to armed conflicts and their termination, and other sentences of competent authorities universally recognized for their authority and relevance with respect to related topics;

Recording that Article 94 of the Colombian Constitution declares that “the enunciation of the rights and guarantees contained in this Constitution and in relevant international conventions, mustn’t be understood as a negation of other rights that, being inherent to each human being, don’t figure expressly in them”, and that the treaties on human rights that have been approved by the Congress cannot be suspended and shall prevail in the maintenance of internal order, even during a State of Emergency;

Putting in consideration that the sum of the accords that make up the Final Accord contribute to the satisfaction of fundamental rights such as political, social, economic and cultural rights, the rights of the victims of the armed conflict to truth, justice and reparations, the rights of children and adolescents, the fundamental right to individual and collective juridical security and physical security, and the fundamental right of every individual and the society generally to non-repetition of the tragedy of the internal armed conflict which the present Accord proposes to overcome;

Emphasizing that the Final Accord places special attention on the fundamental rights of women, of vulnerable social groups such as Colombia’s Indigenous peoples, children and adolescents, Afro-Colombian communities and other ethnically differentiated groups; the fundamental rights of farmers and farming communities, the essential rights of people in a condition of diminished physical or mental capacity, and the rights of people displaced due to the armed conflict; the fundamental rights of the elderly and of homosexuals;

Considering that in the opinion of the National Government the transformations that the implementation of the present Accord will bring must contribute to reversing the impacts of the armed conflict and changing the conditions that have facilitated the persistence of widespread violence throughout the national territory; and that in the opinion of the FARC-EP these transformations must contribute to resolving the historical causes of the conflict, such as the unresolved question of property rights over land ownership and in particular the extent to which land ownership is concentrated, the exclusion of rural Colombians and the slow pace of rural development, which is particularly detrimental for women and children;

Valuing and exalting in the fact that the central point of peace is strengthening the presence and effectiveness of the State throughout the national territory, especially in the multiple regions that are today afflicted by abandonment and the absence of effective public functions and services, as well as by the impacts of the internal armed conflict; that an essential objective of national reconciliation is the construction of a new paradigm of national development and welfare for the benefit of broad sectors of the population which up until now have been victims of exclusion and despair;

Recognizing the rights of the society to integral human security with the participation of civil authorities;

Exalting and consecrating the prospective justice and its recognition of the essential fundamental rights of the new and future generations including the right to a well-preserved environment, the right to the preservation of the human species, the right to know one’s origins and identity, the right to exemption of responsibility for the acts committed by previous generations, the right to preserve freedom of choice, and other rights, without prejudice to the rights of the victims of the armed conflict to truth, justice and reparations;

Recording that on the 23rd of June of this year, the Delegations of the National Government and the FARC-EP signed the accords concerning a Definitive Bilateral Ceasefire, Cessation of Hostilities, Laying Down of Arms and Security Guarantees…;

Accepting that the norms of international common law will continue to govern questions related to fundamental rights not mentioned in the Final Accord, including the imperative mandate which orders that “in cases unforeseen by existing laws, all humans remain under the protection of the principles of humanity and of the demands of public conscience”;

Recognizing the constitutional mandate affirming that it corresponds to the President of the Republic as Head of State, Head of the Government and Supreme Administrative Authority to convene and ratify peace accords;

The Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Army of the People [FARC-EP], have agreed:

To subscribe to the present Final Accord for the Termination of the Armed Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Durable Peace, whose execution will put an end to an armed conflict of more than fifty years duration in a definitive manner, and for related purposes, it is ordered that;

The present Final Accord for the Termination of the Armed Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Durable Peace is subscribed to by the National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Army of the People as a Special Accord in accordance with the terms of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Army of the People hereby sign seven original copies of the Accord and its annexes, one for each of the parties to the dialogues, one for each of the guarantor countries and one for each of the accompanying countries. The seventh original copy will be deposited immediately after it is signed with the Federal Council of Switzerland in Berne or with the organism which may replace it as the official international depository of the Geneva Conventions.

INTRODUCTION

After a confrontation of more than fifty years duration, the National Government and the FARC-EP have agreed to put an end to the internal armed conflict in a definitive manner.

The termination of the armed confrontation will signify, in first place, an end to the enormous suffering that the conflict has caused. Millions of Colombians are victims of forced displacements, hundreds of thousands have died due to the violence, tens of thousands have disappeared, without forgetting the large number of populations that that have been affected in some way throughout the lengths and breadths of the national territory, including women, children, adolescents, farming communities, Indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombian communities, Colombians of mixed descent, political parties, social movements, trade unions, and economic associations, among others. We don’t want there to be one more victim in Colombia.

In second place, the end of the armed conflict presupposes the opening of a new chapter in our history. This involves initiating a transitional phase that contributes to a better integration of our territories, greater social inclusion – especially of those that have lived at the margins of development and have suffered most the effects of the conflict – and to strengthening our democracy so that it embraces all of the national territory and ensures that social conflicts are addressed and resolved through public institutions, with firm guarantees protecting everyone that participates in politics.

It involves constructing a stable and durable peace, with the participation of all Colombians. With this purpose, of putting an end to the historical cycles of violence definitively and permanently and laying the foundations for peace, we agreed to the points of the Agenda of the General Accord of August 2012, whose ongoing elaboration has produced the present Accord.

The Accord consists of a series of accords, which however constitute an inseparable whole, because they are permeated by a single focus on rights, in order that the measures hereby accorded contribute to the materialization of the constitutional rights of the Colombian people; they also have a differentiated focus, to ensure that their implementation will be effectuated taking into account diversity of gender, ethnicity and culture, and that measures will be adopted for the most humble and vulnerable populations and collectives, especially children, women, people with diminished physical or mental capacity and the victims; with special attention given to a single integrated territorial focus.

The territorial focus of the of the Accord requires recognizing and taking into account the economic, social and cultural needs and characteristics of each territory and community and guaranteeing social and environmental sustainability; as well as procuring the implementation of the distinct measures in an integral and coordinated manner, with the active participation of the inhabitants of each community in the respective regions. Implementation will be effectuated from the regions and territories with the participation of territorial authorities and the various sectors of society.

The participation of the members of local communities is fundamental to all of the accords that make up the Final Accord. Participation of society in general in the construction of peace, and meaningful participation in the planning, execution and monitoring of the plans and programs in each territory, is moreover a guarantee of transparency.

Furthermore, participation and dialogue among the different sectors of society contributes to confidence-building and the promotion of a culture of tolerance, respect and coexistence in general, which is an objective of all of the accords. Decades of conflict have opened wide gaps of distrust within society, especially in the territories most affected by the conflict. In order to break these barriers it is necessary to open spaces for more varied popular participation and spaces that promote recognition of the victims, recognition and establishment of respective responsibilities, and, more generally, recognition by all members of our society of what has occurred and the necessity of taking advantage of this opportunity for peace.

For all of these reasons, the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP, motivated by the urgent need to consolidate the foundations that will support the construction of peace and national reconciliation, convoke all political parties and social movements, and all active individual and collective forces in the country to orchestrate a great NATIONAL POLITICAL ACCORD directed at defining the institutional reforms and adjustments that are required to address all of the possible challenges that the construction of peace may demand, putting in place a new form of social and political coexistence.

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The Final Accord contains the following points, with their corresponding accords, all of which attempt to contribute to the transformations necessary for laying the foundations of a stable and durable peace.

Point 1 contains the accord concerning “Integral Rural Reform”, which will contribute to the structural transformation of the countryside and rural economic development, sealing the chasms between the countryside and the cities and creating conditions of welfare and a dignified lifestyle for rural inhabitants. “Integral Rural Reform” must integrate the regions, contribute to eradicating poverty, promote equality, and ensure that all citizens can fully and feely exercise and enjoy their constitutional rights.

Point 2 contains the accord concerning “Political Participation: A democratic opening to construct peace”. The construction and consolidation of peace, in the sense of the end of the conflict, requires a democratic expansion and amplification that enables new forces to arise in the political scenario to enrich debate and deliberations about the great national problems and, in this way, strengthen pluralism as well as the representation of different visions and interests that exist among Colombian society, supported by due guarantees covering participation and political inclusion.

In particular, the implementation of the Final Accord will contribute to broadening and deepening our democratic systems as it implicates the laying down of arms and the proscription of violence as a method of political action for or by each and every Colombian, with the objective of making the transition to a scenario in which democracy reigns, with broad and effective guarantees for everyone who participates in politics, and in this way opening new spaces for participation.

Point 3 contains the accord concerning “Bilateral and Definitive Ceasefire, Cessation of Hostilities, and the Laying Down of Arms”, which has as its objective the definitive termination of offensive military actions between the Armed Forces and the FARC-EP, and more generally of all hostilities and any action whatsoever envisaged in the rules that govern the Ceasefire, including any act affecting the general population, in this way creating conditions for the commencement of the implementation of the Final Accord and the laying down of arms and for preparing the country and State institutions for the reincorporation of the FARC-EP into civilian life.

It also contains the accord concerning “Reincorporation of the FARC-EP into civilian life – economic, social and political – in accordance with their interests”.  Establishing the basis for the construction of a stable and durable peace requires the effective reincorporation of the FARC-EP into the social, economic and political life of the country. This reincorporation ratifies the commitment of the FARC-EP to close the final chapter of the internal armed conflict, converting itself into a valid actor within our democracy so that it can contribute in a decisive manner to the consolidation of peaceful coexistence and non-repetition and to transforming the conditions that have facilitated the persistence of violence throughout our national territory.

Point 3 also contains the accord concerning “Security guarantees and the fight against the criminal organizations responsible for the homicides and massacres and the attacks against human rights defenders, social and political movements, including those organizations that have been denominated successors of paramilitarism and their support networks, and the pre-emption and prosecution of all criminal conduct that may threaten the implementation of the accords and the construction of peace”. In order to achieve this objective, the accord includes measures such as the National Political Pact; the National Commission of Security Guarantees; the Special Investigations Unit; an Elite Corp in the National Police; the Integral Security System for the Free Exercise of Political Rights; the Integral Program of Security and Protection for Communities and Organizations in the Territories; and the Measures for the Prevention of and the Fight Against Corruption.

Point 4 contains the accord concerning “Solution to the Problem of Illicit Drugs”. In order to construct conditions of peace it is necessary to find a definitive solution to the problem of illicit drugs, including cultivations for illicit use and the production and commercialization of illicit drugs. In order to achieve this a new vision will be promoted based on distinct and differentiated treatment of the phenomenon of consumption, to the problem of cultivation for illicit purposes, and to the organized crime associated with drug trafficking, in accordance with a general focus based on human rights and public health, differentiation between measures addressing specific aspects of the phenomenon, and gender issues.

Point 5 contains the accord concerning “Victims”. Since the Exploratory Meeting of 2012, we have been in agreement that compensation of the victims must be at the centre of any agreements reached. The accord creates the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition, which contributes to the fight against impunity combining judicial mechanisms that will enable the investigation and prosecution of grave violations of International Humanitarian Law with complementary extra-judicial mechanisms that will contribute to clarifying the truth as to the crimes that have been committed in the course of the armed conflict, the search for loved ones who have disappeared, and reparation of the harm caused to individuals, groups and communities, and entire territories.

The Integral System consists of the Commission for Clarification of the Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition; the Special Unit for the Search for People Classified as Disappeared in the context of and due to the armed conflict; the Special Jurisdiction for Peace; the Measures for integral reparations for the construction of peace; and the Guarantees of Non-Repetition.

Point 6 contains the accord concerning “Mechanisms of Implementation and Verification”, pursuant to which a “Commission of Implementation, Supervision and Verification of the Final Peace Accord and for the Resolution of Differences” will be created, comprising representatives of the National Government and the FARC-EP with the objective of, among other things, supervising the various components of the Accord and verification of their fulfilment, serving as an instance for resolving differences and to stimulate and monitor legislation enacted to facilitate implementation of the accords.

Additionally, the accord creates a mechanism so that the international community can accompany the implementation of the accords in a consistent and integrated manner and contribute to guaranteeing compliance with the Final Accord. In terms of verification it establishes a framework with an international component comprising the countries that have served in the roles of guarantors and companions during the dialogues as well as two international spokespersons, all of which will be assisted with technical support from the University of Notre Dame of the United States.

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The delegations of the National Government and the FARC-EP reiterate our profound appreciation to all of the victims of the armed conflict, to social and human rights organizations, local and regional communities including ethnic groups, organizations representing Colombia’s women, Colombia’s youth, academia, business associations, the Church and other communities of faith, and in general all of the people of Colombia that have actively participated in the elaboration of the Final Accord. With their ongoing participation and involvement we will achieve the construction and consolidation of a stable and durable peace.

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Appeared at Prensarural, translated by Daniel Edgar

The final accord was signed in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday the 24th of August 2016. On Thursday the 25th of August Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the bilateral ceasefire will officially take effect from Monday the 29th of August. The plebiscite pursuant to which the Colombian people will approve or reject the Final Accord has been scheduled for the 2nd of October 2016.

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