The result of these talks was the "General Agreement for the Termination of Conflict and the Establishment of a Stable and Lasting Peace," signed August 26 (see below). The Agreement established that the talks will begin October 15 in Oslo, Norway, that the headquarters of the talks will be in Havana, Cuba; that the governments of Cuba and Norway will be the guarantors; and the governments of Venezuela and Chile will support the talks. The talks may move to other countries and external experts may be called on as necessary to inform the process.
The Agreement was signed by the Colombian government and the FARC-EP, and an invitation has been extended to all other guerrilla organizations involved in the conflict to join the discussions.
The talks will focus on six points:
1. Integral agricultural development policy (initial point of discussion);
2. Political participation (mainly targets organizations that will bring about the end of the conflict);
3. End of the conflict (setting up cease-fires, treatment of political prisoners, dismantling paramilitary organizations, security guarantees);
4. Solving the problem of illicit drugs;
5. Victims (this will deal with compensation, human rights and truth); and
6. Implementation (establishment of mechanisms to fully implement agreements and their verification and control).
According to the Agreement, each negotiating team can name up to 10 negotiators, of which five will be full plenipotentiaries, and each party can have up to 30 members in its delegation.
The armed conflict in Colombia began more than 60 years ago in 1948 with the assassination of populist leader and presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan Ayala in the period that was called "La Violencia," making it the longest armed conflict in South America. The official report of the number of victims, made public in Bogota by the organ responsible for establishing the list of victims with regards to compensation, estimates the number at 5 million, of which 600,000 were assassinated. The paramilitary wings of the extreme-right alone are responsible for the deaths of more than 120,000 people.
The last official peace talks were held from 1999-2002 and were unilaterally broken by then President Andrés Pastrana.
Although the Agreement calls for all other guerrilla organizations to join the peace process, the Santos government is currently refusing to include representatives of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the talks. However, in a joint statement on September 27, the FARC-EP and ELN leadership reaffirmed their "inflexible determination to continue to search for peace." In their joint political declaration the two guerrilla forces noted that this peace must signify for the country and the continent the establishment "of a real democracy, sovereignty, social justice and freedom."
General Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Establishment of a Stable and Lasting Peace
The delegates of the Republic Government of Colombia (National Government) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP):
As a result of the Exploratory Meeting headquartered in Havana, Cuba, between February 23, 2012 and August 26, 2012, and that counted on the participation of the Government of the Republic of Cuba and the Government of Norway as guarantors, and with the support of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as facilitator of logistics and to accompany the process:
With the mutual decision of putting an end to the conflict as an essential condition for the constitution of stable and lasting peace;
Addressing the call of the people for peace, and recognizing that:
Building peace is a matter of society as a whole and requires the participation of all, without distinction, including other guerrilla organizations, whom we invite to join us in this effort;
Respect for human rights in every corner of the country is the responsibility of the State, which must promote it;
Economic development with social justice and harmony with the environment, is a guarantee of peace and progress;
Social development with equity and well-being, including large majorities, permit us to grow as a country;
A peaceful Colombia would play an active and sovereign role in peace and regional and global development;
It is important to spread democracy as a condition for obtaining a solid foundation for peace;
With the total disposition of the National Government and the FARC-EP to reach an agreement, and the invitation to all of Colombian society, as well as regional integration organizations and the international community to support this process;
We have agreed:
I. To initiate direct and uninterrupted conversations about the points of the agenda established here, with the aim of reaching a Final Agreement for the termination of the conflict that will contribute to stable and lasting peace.
II. To establish a Conversation Table that will be publicly announced in Oslo, Norway, and whose principal headquarters will be Havana, Cuba. The Table could have meetings in other countries.
III. To guarantee the effectiveness of the process and conclude the work about the points of the agenda expeditiously and in the least amount of time possible, to fulfill the expectations of the society concerning the agreement. In any case, the duration will be subject to periodic progress evaluations.
IV. To develop the conversations with the support of the governments of Cuba and Norway as guarantors and the governments of Venezuela and Chile as accompaniment. In accordance with the necessities of the process, they may by agreement invite others.
V. The following agenda:
1. Integral agricultural development policy.
Integral agricultural development is crucial to boost the integration of the regions and the equitable social and economic development of the country.
1. Access and use of land. Wastelands. Formalization of property. Agricultural border and protection of reserve zones.
2. Development programs with territorial focus.
3. Infrastructure and land improvement.
4. Social development: health care, education, housing, eradication of poverty.
5. Stimulation of agricultural production and the economy of solidarity and cooperation. Technical assistance. Subsidies. Credit. Generation of income. Marketing. Labor formalization.
6. Food security system.
2. Political participation
1. Rights and guarantees for exercising political opposition in general and in particular for the new movements that arise after the signing of the Final Agreement. Access to the media.
2. Democratic mechanisms for citizen participation, including those of direct participation, on different levels and diverse themes.
3. Effective measures to promote greater participation in the national, regional and local policy of all sectors, including the most vulnerable population, in equal conditions and with guarantees of security.
3. End of the conflict
A integral and simultaneous process which implies:
1. Bilateral and definitive cease of fire and hostilities.
2. Abandonment of arms. Reincorporation of the FARC-EP into civil life -- economically, socially and politically -- in accordance with their interests.
3. The National Government, will coordinate the revision of the situation of individuals, charged or convicted, for belonging to or collaborating with the FARC-EP.
4. In parallel form the National Government will intensify the fight to put an end to criminal organizations and their support networks, including the fight against corruption and impunity, in particular against any organization responsible for homicides and massacres or which undermines defenders of human rights, social movements or political movements.
5. The National Government will revise and make the reforms and institutional adjustments necessary to address the challenges of the establishmentstablishment of peace.
6. Guarantees of security.
7. Under the provisions of Point 5 (Victims) of this agreement the phenomenon of paramilitarism, among others, will be clarified.
The signing of the Final Agreement initiates this process, which must develop in a reasonable time agreed upon by the parties.
4. Solution to the problem of illicit drugs
1. Illicit crop substitution programs. Integral development plans with participation of the communities in the design, execution and evaluation of the programs of substitution and environmental recovery of the areas affected by illicit crops.
2. Prevention of consumption and public health programs.
3. Solution to the phenomenon of production, consumption and public health.
Compensation for the victims is at the centre of the National Government--FARC-EP agreement. In this sense they will treat:
1. Victims' human rights.
6. Implementation, verification and countersignature.
The signing of the Final Agreement begins the implementation of all of the agreed points.
1. Mechanisms of implementation and verification:
a. System of implementation, giving special importance to the regions.
b. Tracking and verification commissions.
c. Mechanisms for resolution of differences.
These mechanisms will have the capacity and power of execution, and will be confirmed by representatives of the parts of society, case by case.
2. International accompaniment:
5. Dissemination and communication tools.
6. Countersignature mechanism of the agreements.
VI. The following operating rules:
1. In the sessions of the Table up to 10 people will participate per delegation, of which up to 5 will be plenipotentiaries who will act as respective spokespersons. Every delegation will be made up of up to 30 representatives.
2. With the aim of contributing to the development of the process, consultations of experts about the Agenda's themes are permitted, once the corresponding procedure is established.
3. To guarantee the transparency of the process, the Table will elaborate periodic reports.
4. Mechanisms will be established to raise awareness of the Table's progress. The Table's discussions will not be made public.
5. An effective dissemination strategy will be implemented.
6. To guarantee the most open participation possible, [the Table] will establish a mechanism of reception of proposals about the points of the agenda from citizens and organizations, by physical or electronic means. By mutual agreement and in a determined time, the Table can hold direct consultations and receive proposals about said points, or delegate a third of the organization of participation spaces.
7. The National Government guarantees the necessary resources for the Table's operation, which will be administered in an efficient and transparent manner.
8. The Table will have the necessary technology to advance the process.
9. The conversations will begin with the point of Integral agricultural development policy and will continue with the order that the Table agrees upon.
10. The conversations will be given under the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
Signed August 26, 2012 in Havana, Cuba.
(Translation from original Spanish by Colombia Reports)
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