Press Releases

                                                                                                                            2 July 2004

    Secretary-General Urges Respect for Ceasefire as Colombia Peace Talks Open

    NEW YORK, 1 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a statement attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General notes the opening of formal talks between the Government of Colombia and paramilitary forces.  He recognizes the important role of the Organization of American States in this endeavour and urges that the declared ceasefire be respected fully, and that the proposed concentration of forces take place, allowing the negotiations to proceed.  These negotiations should result in the disarmament and demobilization of paramilitaries, with the ultimate aim of ending paramilitarism in Colombia.  The process should not permit blanket amnesties or de facto impunity.

    The Secretary-General reiterates his belief that the rights of truth, justice and reparations for victims must be fully respected.

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