Following an invitation from the FARC-EP delegation, a new meeting between Geneva Call and members of this delegation took place between 4 and 7 April 2015 in Havana, Cuba. Representatives of FARC-EP and Geneva Call clearly expressed their interest in working more closely on the protection of the civilians in Colombia.
During this meeting, different thematic areas were discussed, in particular, humanitarian topics related to anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war, the protection of children and gender issues. Geneva Call presented its Deeds of Commitment as tools to protect civilian populations from the effect of armed conflict.
Discussions also focused on concrete issues such as the dissociation of children from FARC-EP, the support to people affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war within their ranks and the necessity to involve communities in the process of humanitarian demining. A work plan has been established and new discussions are planned.
With this meeting, Geneva Call continues to support the implementation of important achievements, such as the bilateral agreement on humanitarian demining and the increase of the minimum recruitment age by FARC-EP. Geneva Call encourages the parties to the conflict to keep searching for solutions and agreements to enhance the protection of civilians.
Peace negotiations between the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP started in 2012 in Cuba and major achievements can be observed: agreements were reached on three of five important agenda items. FARC-EP declared a unilateral cease-fire for an indefinite period and the government stopped bombing FARC-EP camps for the second consecutive month.