The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s international relations and diplomacy, education, executive training and research institution, hosted an interactive event on the ‘Colombian Peace Process and National Referendum’ for high-level participants.
The Academy organised the lecture in collaboration with Abu Dhabi’s Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, and the Colombian embassy. Speakers included His Excellency Faihan Al Fayez Chalhub, Ambassador of Colombia to the UAE, and His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director of Hedayah. His Excellency Bernardino León, President of EDA, delivered the closing remarks.
The lecture, followed by an engaging discussion, provided valuable insight into the Colombian peace process and the implications of the national referendum, which has initially rejected the peace agreement, on the future of the country. Ratified on 29-30 November 2016 following a four-year negotiation process, the ground-breaking Colombian peace agreement marked the end of conflict between the country’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse said: “As part of the ongoing collaboration between the government of Colombia and Hedayah, we are delighted to co-host this event that highlights the importance of ending conflicts through constructive diplomacy, negotiation and reconciliation.”
For his part, His Excellency Faihan Al Fayez Chalhub said: “The peace agreement is a historic event not only because it marks the end of a 52-year conflict, but because we have concluded successful peace negotiations. The implementation of the agreement will bring about social and economic development opportunities that have the potential to transform the country.”
His Excellency added: “The peace has already brought tangible results: 7,000 FARC members have concluded surrendering their weapons in designated zones under the tripartite mechanism monitoring and under the coordination of the United Nations. By June 2017, we are expecting total disarmament, and we are working towards reintegrating former rebel fighters into civilian life in the near future.”
“The balance between justice and peace is not easy, but in Colombia, those responsible for war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law will find justice under the law.”
The event was part of EDA’s ongoing series of lectures providing a platform for prominent voices to share thought-provoking perspectives with the people of Abu Dhabi.