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Statement by H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the Forum on Political Participation in Bogota (28-30 April 2013).

Bogota

This is your country too and your voices should be heard.

 

I wish to convey my warm greetings to all of you who are attending the Forum on Political Participation in Bogota today.

I know that this Forum has been requested by the Colombian Government and the FARC so that civil society can provide input to their talks and contribute to the peace process.

This is your country too and your voices should be heard.

The conflict in Colombia is one of the longest in the world. I am therefore very pleased to hear that the current initiative to reach a peace agreement with the FARC appears to be on the right track. 

During my long career at the United Nations, and now, as part of my work with the Kofi Annan Foundation, I still see the terrible consequences of armed conflict across the world – the human suffering, wanton destruction and waste of precious resources that should have been invested in economic and social development for the population at large.

I have always been impressed by the courage and determination of civil society in troubled countries, who continue to struggle for dialogue and peace amidst major difficulties and risks. 7. Your efforts to promote good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights must be realized. 

After 50 years of violence, all of you who are working for peace in Colombia deserve our respect and strong support.

I encourage all of you gathered in Bogota today to persevere in your efforts, to seize the opportunity for peace, and think creatively about a future which will be more inclusive, more just and more prosperous. 

I also encourage the international community to continue their support as you move towards peace and reconciliation.  

Thank you.

[END]

 

This is your country too and your voices should be heard.