May 22, 2020

Cardin Lauds Committee Passage of Resolution In Support of US-Colombia Partnership

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Co-Chair of the Atlantic Council’s Colombia Task Force and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), praised bipartisan action Thursday by the committee encouraging the government of Colombia to pursue peace and regional stability. The resolution “reaffirms the unwavering support of the Government and people of the United States for the people of Colombia in their pursuit of peace and stabilization of territories previously in conflict so they can achieve their aspiration to live in a country free of violence and organized crime.”

Senator Cardin: “This bipartisan resolution goes a long way to recognize the importance and dedication of the U.S.-Colombia relationship. Colombia has made significant strides to address internal armed conflict; promote accountability; combat narcotrafficking and organized crime; and support human rights, all the while balancing an influx of almost 2 million Colombians in recent years. Continued U.S. support for Colombia strengthens the security and prosperity of both our countries and the hemisphere.”

First introduced last year with Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the resolution also:

  • reaffirms the unwavering support of the Government and people of the United States for the people of Colombia in their pursuit of peace and stabilization of territories previously in conflict so they can achieve their aspiration to live in a country free of violence and organized crime;
  • lauds efforts to bring an end to Colombia’s enduring internal armed conflict;
  • commends the work of the United Nations Verification Mission in overseeing the implementation of the 2016 peace accord and the disarmament and reintegration of combatants;
  • maintains its commitment to the more than 7,000,000 victims of Colombia’s armed conflict and urges all Colombian authorities to hold accountable perpetrators of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and ensure that they are appropriately punished;
  • encourages the Government of Colombia to protect vulnerable populations who remain at risk in that country, including defenders of human rights, those facing threats due to crop substitution from the illicit crop market, internally displaced persons, and Afro-descendant and indigenous leaders and communities;
  • expresses concern about the decision of certain senior members of the FARC to return to arms and hostilities and strengthen their alliance with the ELN, which poses risks for the ability of the Government of Colombia to consolidate peace and security;
  • reaffirms the importance of the extradition treaty between Colombia and the United States as an important part of the bilateral relations that has promoted the interests of justice in both nations for decades;
  • encourages the Secretary of State to develop a comprehensive strategy to assist the Government of Colombia in managing the effects of the Venezuela crisis while continuing the successful implementation and sustainability of the peace accord and stabilization of territories previously in conflict in Colombia, and to further strengthen the close bilateral partnership shared by the Governments of the United States and Colombia;
  • reaffirms its commitment to continued partnership between the Governments of the United States and Colombia on issues of mutual interest, including security, counternarcotics cooperation, combating transnational organized crime, ensuring justice for those who have caused indelible harm to our populations, reintegration of FARC members, economic growth and investment with a focus on disadvantaged communities, health cooperation, and educational and cultural exchanges that strengthen diplomatic relations; and
  • commits to furthering the bilateral relationship between the United States and Colombia by working with leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society from both countries, to ensure that the United States-Colombia relationship remains a key pillar of United States foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.

 

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