Colombia: Nobel Prize encourages every Colombian to contribute to building peace

Press release
en es fa fr

Today the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. The Committee also explained it came to this decision as a tribute to Colombians, to encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia.

FIDH agrees with the Committee that the narrow rejection in the referendum on October 2 by which Colombian citizens were asked whether they agreed with the Peace Agreement signed on September 26 in Cartagena, was not a "no" to peace in Colombia.

It is therefore of utmost importance that the various Colombian actors playing a role in the peace process and every Colombian citizen appropriates this message and this award to drive Colombia towards peace.

"The polarization of debates and irresponsible positions are the main pitfalls that Colombian society must now avoid in order to keep the process going,"

said Dimitris Christopoulos, President of FIDH.

"This award is also for young people who demonstrate massively against the ignominy and barbarism of war and in support of indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, peasants, human rights defenders, women, children and the poor population that has suffered from war. This award is the recognition of what has been done, but also of the peace that everyone must still build in Colombia,"

he added.

In this regard, FIDH welcomes the initiative of President Santos to engage all parties - including those who have campaigned against the peace agreement - in a national dialogue and calls on the parties to maintain the ceasefire.

FIDH calls upon the Colombian authorities to ensure full protection to all segments of society, including human rights defenders, who have been at the forefront of calls for peace in Colombia for many years. The authorities should also make every effort to achieve a balance between different positions and advance the negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Read more