Brussels, 8 June 2001
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union
on the Humanitarian Accord between the Government of Colombia and the FARC
Recalling its declaration on 19 January 2001 on the peace process in Colombia, the European Union welcomes the Humanitarian Accord agreed upon by the Government of Colombia and the "Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia" (FARC) on 2 June 2001.
The European Union sees this agreement as a positive step towards a necessary increased respect for International Humanitarian Law. As such, it is also an important element for the creation of mutual confidence in the peace process between the parties, the public at large and the international community accompanying the negotiating process.
The European Union encourages the parties to rapidly achieve further concrete progress in the negotiations, in order to decrease the level of violence. The European Union encourages the Government of Colombia to continue to adopt effective measures against the paramilitary groups. The European Union furthermore urges the FARC to fulfill their unilateral decision reflected in the Humanitarian Accord to liberate a large number of soldiers and policemen, in addition to the exchange currently being carried out.
Finally, the European Union urges the FARC and the "Ejército de Liberación Nacional" (ELN) and other groups, to immediately and unconditionally release those civilians who have been kidnapped, and to terminate the abominable and unacceptable practice of kidnapping.
The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.