Statement as delivered by Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 25 January 2016.

I welcome Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin to the council today.

New Zealand was very pleased to co-sponsor this resolution, and welcomes its unanimous adoption.  

The Council’s flexible and quick response to the request for a political mission is a welcome development. 

As others have noted it is a welcome and somewhat unusual development that a country should come to this council of its own accord for help, even better that it is doing so in the context of a peace process.

We hope that this mission, as the international component and coordinator of a tripartite monitoring and verification mechanism, will generate further confidence in the Colombian peace process.  

New Zealand congratulates President Santos for the courage and determination that he and his country have demonstrated in pushing for a durable solution to a protracted conflict. 

We too commend FARC for taking the road to peace and for sticking with it through the long negotiations.

We also congratulate and thank Cuba and Norway and Chile and Venezuela for their vital roles in shepherding the peace process.

We also welcome the role the region has played in the peace process. It represents a positive example of a regionally-led solution to a long-standing conflict.

New Zealand is committed to supporting Colombia’s efforts to find lasting peace.  We are pleased that our partnership with Colombia, and burgeoning relationship with the Pacific Alliance, will be further strengthened with the opening of a New Zealand Embassy in Bogotá in the near future. 

We wish Colombia well in advancing the peace process in the coming months.  No one expects the road ahead to be easy.  But as has been demonstrated today, this Council and the international community stand ready to help.