The Elders today reaffirmed their support for the historic peace deal between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and urged President Ivan Duque to continue to work for its full implementation.
The group of independent global leaders, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to work for peace, justice and human rights worldwide, recalled that three of their members were present at the signing of the 2016 peace deal: Ban Ki-moon in his then-role as Secretary-General of the United Nations, the late Kofi Annan, then Chair of The Elders, and Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.
On the occasion of their biannual board meeting, the Elders reiterated their belief that the deal can further the causes of peace and reconciliation in the country and become the foundation stone for broad and inclusive economic and social development.
They urged President Duque to take all necessary measures to ensure the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) can apply transitional justice as set out under the provisions of the 2016 deal.
Drawing on their extensive involvement in peace and reconciliation processes over many decades from Lebanon and Northern Ireland to Syria and South Africa, The Elders highlighted the need for a sustained approach and a willingness by leaders from across the divide to compromise and prioritise the wider national interest over partisan, short-termist positioning.
They called on President Duque to show vision and leadership to make the peace deal the anchor for long-lasting social justice and reconciliation so the people of Colombia and their descendants can enjoy the peace they so richly deserve.