No. 49 - February 27, 2009 (2:50 p.m. EST) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), received Frank Pearl, Colombia’s Senior Presidential Adviser for Social and Economic Reintegration, in Ottawa on Friday, February 27, 2009.
“Canada strongly supports Colombia’s efforts to reintegrate former combatants of illegal armed groups. The work of the High Commission for Reintegration is central to ensuring sustainable peace and security for all Colombians,” said Minister of State Kent. “Reintegration efforts address issues of security, governance and human rights in Colombia—priorities that are at the core of our engagement in the Americas.”
Mr. Pearl is visiting Ottawa to provide information on Colombia’s programs to rehabilitate and ensure the employability of former combatants, while reintegrating them into their communities. According to Colombian government statistics, since 2005, approximately 32,000 paramilitaries and 17,000 members of other illegal armed groups have been demobilized in Colombia.
Canada’s support for Colombia’s peace process includes a substantial contribution to the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia. Canada also supports government and civil society efforts to investigate conflict-related crimes and to prosecute those responsible for them, to strengthen transitional justice programs, and to protect the rights of vulnerable groups, such as indigenous communities.
Canada and Colombia have a multi-faceted and growing relationship, to which Canada brings a whole-of-government approach.
For more information about Canada’s relations with Colombia, please visit the following websites:
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: Canada’s Engagement on Human Rights in Colombia.
Canadian International Development Agency: Colombia.
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