Online event gathered voices of encouragement for the Peace Process in its five- year anniversary

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Online event gathered voices of encouragement for the Peace Process in its five- year anniversary

 

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Peace Agreement, PASO Colombia organized the online event “Lessons learned from territorial peace in Colombia,” in collaboration with the Coffee Growers’ Committee of Cauca and the National Coffee Board. The event brought together speakers and experts who have worked during the past five years from the academia, the international community, and the productive sector in order to build peace in the territories most affected by armed conflict.

Their discussions on territorial peace focused on the achievements of the past five years, the approaches that are gaining momentum, and the challenges that lie ahead. Despite the challenges faced by the Colombian Peace Agreement, speakers offered a hopeful outlook; although only a third of the timetable established for its implementation has elapsed, the peace process continues to consolidate itself as an international benchmark.

Detailed insights of the event can be seen in the video. The following are some of the most relevant ideas proposed by speakers:

Alessandro Preti, Head of Reincorporation of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia:

“With 7,000 weapons surrendered in nine months, the laying down of arms has worked quite well compared to other processes in the world. Ex-combatants have demonstrated their commitment, and this is a sign that we have transitioned from bullets to votes.”

Viva Bartkus, Director of the Program Business on the Frontlines of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business:

“After more than 50 years of war, Colombia continues to have the highest levels of inequality in the hemisphere. However, ex-combatants and campesinos (rural peasants) have a new vision: they work and share their job opportunities, building a world of inclusion in Colombia. This is why I continue to have hope.”

Antonio Pardo, Representative of the National Coffee Board:

“We are moving forward with the support of very important allies such as the UN Verification Mission, UNDP, the Federation of Coffee Growers, PASO Colombia, and the international community so that peace can take hold in the territories.”

Pontus Ohrstedt, Head of FBA Peace Processes (Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development Cooperation):

“We must remain optimistic. As the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres pointed out, there is no doubt that, compared to many others, Colombia’s peace process is one of the most successful in the world.”

Gerardo Montenegro, Executive Director of the Coffee Growers’ Committee of Cauca:

“The coffee grown today plays an important role in economic strengthening and the reconstruction of the social fabric, giving the opportunity to the ex-combatants who grow coffee to tell their story through a cup of coffee.”

Juan Fernando Lucio, PASO Colombia Director:

“Territorial peace allowed us to discover a new potential of Colombia’s campesino economies; new ways of developing agriculture to face the challenges of drug trafficking and migration.”