UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday commended the Colombian government's peacebuilding efforts and pledged China's continued support.
As the peace process in Colombia enters its fifth year, peacebuilding continues to make notable progress and various tasks under the peace agreement are moving forward, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
This is a success story of a political settlement of domestic conflict and peacebuilding with the support of the United Nations. China highly commends the Colombian government and the parties concerned for their efforts, he told the Security Council.
Ensuring people's safety and security and social stability is a key element of the peace agreement. In several departments of Colombia, violent crimes and violence against former combatants and civilians are still taking place. China supports the Colombian government in improving governance capacity in rural areas, enhancing security and protection measures, and stepping up its efforts to fight illegal armed groups and criminal organizations, he said.
Extreme poverty is closely linked with violence and other criminal activities, posing challenges to the re-integration of former combatants, he said. "We encourage Columbia to increase investment in development, address gaps and weaknesses in all areas of the economy and society, and lay a solid foundation for lasting peace and security."
China appreciates the Colombian government's efforts to promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable development, with a particular focus on addressing the rural-urban gap and regional imbalances, he said.
China supports Colombia in continuing the implementation of its illicit crop substitution program, and intensifying drug control to eliminate the breeding ground for crime, he added. "We are pleased to see that the Colombian government's efforts to strengthen infrastructure, including transportation, irrigation, and electricity, and improve basic public services, such as education, health care, and housing, are producing tangible results."
China firmly supports Colombia's efforts to comprehensively implement the peace agreement, and hopes the Colombian government will address the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery in a holistic manner while consolidating and advancing the peace process, he said.
"Of course implementing the peace agreement is a long process, and peacebuilding takes persistent efforts. We trust that the Colombian government will unite the people and lead them in properly addressing all difficulties and challenges," said Zhang.