Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations on the Situation in Colombia

Thank you, Mr. President.
I would like to thank Monsieur Jean Arnault, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his encouraging briefing and his good work on the ground.
We will soon witness the successful completion of the first UN Mission in Colombia and the laying down of arms process.  We congratulate the Colombian people for taking this historic step.  Japan is very pleased by the mutual confidence and good faith demonstrated between the Government and FARC during this process.  We commend SRSG Arnault and his team, international observers, and civilian staff for their excellent work in close coordination with the parties.  The Council’s decision to respond to the Colombian-initiated request by establishing the UN Mission was the right one. 
We take note of the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the UN Verification Mission based on consultations with the stakeholders.  Japan is ready to constructively discuss a draft resolution.  We note the importance of continued close coordination between the Mission and the UN Country Team and the seamless transition of missions.  The “whole-of-UN” approach will remain critical.  Ultimately, long-term success depends on the determination and commitment demonstrated by the parties.  We look forward to their continued efforts during the second Mission’s deployment.
The social and economic reintegration process is a delicate and challenging part of the peace process.  To guarantee genuine peace, FARC members who have laid down arms must be able to fully participate in economic and social life in Colombia as soon as possible.  Sufficient resources and security guarantees are essential.  FARC must also observe the peace agreement and make efforts to fully reintegrate into society.  We take note of the establishment of several legal mechanisms at the national level for reintegration as well as for security.  It is vital that they function effectively and coherently on the ground, including after the elections.  Strong coordination efforts by the Government are important to achieve maximum results. 
Another piece of positive news is the temporary ceasefire announcement between the Government and National Liberation Army (ELN) on 4 September.  We welcome this ceasefire and strongly hope that it will lead to productive peace negotiations between the parties, while also bolstering the current peace process as a whole.  We appreciate the efforts made by the guarantors, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Norway, and Venezuela, as well as the Catholic Church.  We look forward to their continued support for the peace negotiations.
In conclusion, Mr. President, Japan reiterates its support for the parties in implementing the Peace Agreement, and once again commends the UN Mission in Colombia for its vital work.  Japan will continue to support the people of Colombia through the efforts of the second Mission. 
I thank you, Mr. President.