Ban Ki-moon ‘proud’ to have contributed to Colombian peace process

Bogota, Apr 30 (EFE).- The former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Saturday expressed pride in having contributed to the peace process in Colombia, and wished that this agreement would continue to be respected.

At a conference organized in Bogota by the University of The Andes, Ban and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos spoke about the peace process and the challenges of the future, as well as about the good relationship between Colombia and South Korea.

Ban, who was un secretary General from 2007 to 2016, was in Colombia to attend the Bogota International Book Fair, where South Korea is the guest country of honor, and present his book “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World.”

The South Korean diplomat underlined the importance of peace and security, and praised “the leadership” of Santos during his presidency (2010-2018), when he was able to reach a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, signed in November 2016.

“As a secretary general I really wanted to provide the United Nations’ and my own support,” he said.

Referring to the growth of FARC dissidents and the intensification of the armed conflict, Ban called on the government and the people of Colombia to unite.

In this regard, Santos underlined that the dissidents have not been able to derail the peace process because it is protected constitutionally and supported by the UN, and said he hopes that “the next two governments” will implement it fully.

The former president and 2016 Nobel Peace laureate rued the “lack of political will” of the current government led by President Ivan Duque, which he blamed for the murder of social leaders and the problems in implementing the agreement.

An environment advocate, Ban also spoke about issues of global concern. As the UN secretary-General he was a champion of the Paris Climate Accords and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Apart from Colombia and its relations with South Korea, Ban said he wished to speak global issues that posed a threat to humanity, in reference to environment issues.

Although the SDGs have made “tangible progress,” this “has not been equal” for everyone and there have been regressions due to the conflict, Covid-19 and current global crisis.

In this regard, he stressed on the need to ensure that by 2030 there is no “poverty or hunger, there must be no one who should be left out of education and health. That is our goal.” EFE


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