19 May UF in Colombia Day 2: Multiple Meetings & Perspectives on Peace
Our second day in Bogotá started with rain and a slow breakfast. At 9 am, we were off to the office of the EU delegation to Colombia. In the entrance hall we ran into Hans Thorgren, posted abroad by the Folke Bernadotte Academy, who just came from an important meeting ten blocks away to meet up with our group. At the 12th floor, we were welcomed by him and Maria Järviö for a chat about the EU cooperation in Colombia. Most of it is bilateral, where the EU supports the Colombian government to carry out different projects. One important focus area is the protection of human rights defenders. In the last two years, the number of human rights defenders who have been killed in Colombia has increased rapidly and the EU makes a point of using their political presence and support to change the situation. In addition, the EU has its own peace fund to support the implementation of the peace agreement.
After a quick lunch, we went on to visit the KROC institute, a research team appointed to monitor the implementation of the peace agreement. Their purpose is to gather data on the implementation of the peace agreement in six big categories, mirroring the six chapters of the peace agreement. We got a full course on the peace agreement, on the challenges of gathering data to measure something that is happening in real- time and on their views of how the peace process is really going. An interesting and somewhat depressing trend is that the aspects of the agreement that are not gender mainstreamed or do not have a inclusive perspective with special indicators for the afro-colombian population and indigenous peoples seem to have a higher success rate.
At the end of the meeting with the KROC institute, we took the opportunity to use their fantastic rooftop for some group pictures with a view.
After a long day of interesting meetings, we were glad to end the evening with some Colombian beer and dinner with students from the Model United Nations Association of la Universidad Javeriana (PJUMUN). We discussed everything from how Valborg is celebrated in Uppsala to the World Cup in football and the upcoming elections in Colombia.
Still a bit jet-lagged and tired from the full day of meetings and new impressions, we were all half asleep at the end of the dinner. Struggling to stay awake on the taxi-ride home, we were in for an early night. In conclusion, we were glad to hear some reassuring voices that the implementation of the peace agreement, even though it takes time and despite a lot of negative voices, seems to be going reasonably well.