This article describes that members of WILPF European Sections meeting in Brussels from 6 to 9 April 2018 drafted the following petition in collaboration with the president of WILPF/LIMPAL Colombia, Katherine Ronderos. The petition was brought to the European Parliament on 9 April on behalf of members of WILPF Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, and France.
Petition to the European Parliament – The Peace Agreement in Colombia
“Acuerdo Final para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estable y Duradera”
Members of European Sections of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) meeting in Brussels, from 6th to 9th April 2018 resolved to petition Members of the EU Parliament.
Taking into consideration,
1) That the Colombian Peace Process put to an end a 53-year armed conflict, responsible of thousands of deaths and millions of forcedly displaced people, with an Agreement signed by the FARC-EP and the Colombian Government in November 2016;
2) That this is the first peace agreement in the world that included a gender and women’s rights perspective, in the framework of UNSCR 1325;
3) That WILPF participated, through the President of WILPF Spain, in the International Peace Verification Mission, organised by Peace Brigades International (PBI) and Mundubat, in which they corroborated the facts collected in the Mission Final Report (links included at the end);
4) That the Mission corroborated the achievements and gaps over the Agreement’s implementation, worryingly outlining the large amount of human rights leaders (women and men) assassinated since the signature of the agreement (more than 200 hundred people, after the Agreement was signed);
5) That the election campaigns and the whole electoral process can increase violence in the regions affected by the armed conflict, putting at risks the implementation of the Agreement;
6) That despite women played a vital role in the negotiation process and that the inclusion of women’s rights and a gender perspective into the Agreement was seen as breakthrough from all previous peace agreements, the implementation process has been very slow for guaranteeing women’s participation at local level in policy and decision-making spaces.
Request the Members of the European Parliament,
1) To express, before the Colombian Government and the International Community, their active concern about the slow Implementation of the Colombian Final Agreement, the worrying numbers of women and men human rights defenders assassinated, and stronger mechanisms to combat corruption and impunity in the most affected regions of Colombia;
2) To call the forthcoming Colombian Government once the Presidential elections has been decided, to continue the implementation process of the Final Peace Agreement, in order to protect the lives of the Colombian population, victims, and ex-combatants, and in order to maintain the credibility and recognition from the international Community that has supported this peace process.
Heidi Meinzolt (European WILPF Coordinator)
On behalf of Members of WILPF Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands and France.