Human Rights chief concludes visit to Colombia

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Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay (left) with Todd Howland of the UN Human Rights office in Colombia.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay has concluded a four-day mission to Colombia.

At a press conference on Friday in the capital, Bogotá, Ms. Pillay spoke about the meetings she held with various sectors, including NGOs.

She said civil society representatives want their voices to be heard in peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

"It was clear from my discussion with the President and several high-level officials that they understood human rights obligations are central to the peace process. I stressed that the rights of the victims need to be at the centre of the peace negotiations with the FARC, and I hope soon with the ELN (National Liberation Army).  The goal is to achieve both peace and justice so that all Colombians stand to benefit from the peace process. Regardless of the status of the perpetrators, whether they are state forces, guerrillas, paramilitary or post-paramilitary groups, crimes related to human rights violations cannot be subject to amnesties or impunities. This is not only Colombia's international obligation; it is what the people of Colombia deserve."

Ms. Pillay said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has confirmed that the UN Human Rights office in the country will be renewed through October 2014.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’45″

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