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Christian Aid Ireland calls for continued international support for the Colombia peace process during President Higgins’ state visit

13 February 2017 - The President will meet Christian Aid and local organisations today, Monday 13 February, to discuss the peace process.

Christian Aid Ireland has urged Ireland and the international community to continue supporting the Colombia peace process during President Michael D Higgins’ state visit.
 
The President will meet with representatives of Christian Aid and the Colombian organisations it supports tomorrow, Monday 13th February, to discuss the peace process.
 
President Higgins’ visit follows closely the initiation of peace talks between the Colombian government and the second largest Guerrilla Group in Colombia, the National Liberation Army (ELN), which began on 7 February in Quito, Ecuador.   
 
Thomas Mortensen, Christian Aid’s Colombia Country Manager, who will meet President Higgins today, said: 
 
'We welcome President Higgins’ visit to Colombia this week, which will bring attention to the country’s peace process in Ireland and Europe. 
 
'We urge that the international community and Ireland continue to support the peace process politically and financially into the future, when it is no longer the focus of global attention. Such international engagement will be critical for ending the 53-year conflict that has torn 8 million lives apart. 
 
'We also call for an immediate end to the killing of human rights defenders in Colombia. The murders of brave people who stand up for justice, represents a major risk to the peace process. 

'People in Colombia have suffered tremendously from the conflict. The Colombian Government and international community must ensure that international development cooperation projects focus on victims’ rights and build a lasting peace.  Victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition must form the principal criteria guiding international development cooperation in Colombia in the coming years.' 
 
Christian Aid Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid, works in Colombia to support survivors of the conflict including peasants, indigenous people, Afro-Colombian populations and women in regions that are most seriously affected by the conflict and experience high levels of poverty and exclusion.
 
It also works with local organisations and communities to hold the state to account on human rights issues and supports the protection of human rights defenders through advocacy, accompaniment, litigation and awareness-raising. The charity strengthens people's capacity to build their future and claim their rights, especially in relation to peace, land and tax justice. 
  

 
For media queries contact:

Meabh Smith
Head of Communications
Christian Aid Ireland
0872068483

Email: mjsmith@christian-aid.org


Notes:
  1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

  2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.

  3. Christian Aid Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid, funds partners in Colombia working on peace building, human rights and accountability.

  4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

  5. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl

  6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie

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