Swiss President Alain Berset is on an official visit to Colombia. The purpose is to show support for the peace talks with the ELN (National Liberation Army) and the Colombian government’s “Total Peace” project. The visit began on August 7, and after touring the country for several days, Berset is meeting with President Gustavo Petro in Bogota today.
Results of Humanitarian Cooperation
The Swiss president’s official visit comes within the framework of Switzerland’s support for the peace plans developed by the Colombian government. In this context, humanitarian cooperation and the ongoing dialogues with the ELN set the stage for the meeting between Berset and his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro.
Switzerland is one of the accompanying countries in the dialogue process that Colombia maintains with the ELN guerrilla. Along with Spain, Germany, and Sweden, the Swiss form the group of accompanying states, a typology for peace dialogues that Colombia initiated 25 years ago. Berset has stated that Colombia is a priority country in Switzerland’s plan to promote humanitarian cooperation agreements.
Over the last two days, the Swiss president has toured Colombian territory. During visits to Buenaventura and Dabeiba (Antioquia), Alain Berset engaged with various social players to understand firsthand how the internal conflict is affecting the country. In Buenaventura, he gained insights into the lives of communities in the Colombian Pacific, during a visit with Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Colombia.
The two high-ranking representatives had the opportunity to speak with the mothers of young victims of the Punta del Este massacre in 2005.
In Dabeiba (Antioquia), Berset interacted with a reintegration project for ex-combatants, involving his country. There, Berset and Ruiz Massieu had the chance to observe progress in reconciliation between victims and signatories of the peace agreement.
The President of Switzerland supports the “Total Peace” project
Following this journey through Valle del Cauca and Antioquia, Alain Berset arrives in Bogotá where he will hold talks with Colombian President Gustavo Petro. The Swiss leader will discuss progress in the implementation of the 2016 peace agreements with the former FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
Within the context of dialogues and Colombia’s “Total Peace” project, Berset is scheduled to meet with the key figures in the discussions between the government and the ELN.
Likewise, according to official sources, both presidents will also address topics related to trade, bilateral cooperation, and actions against climate change.
Finally, the signing of an agreement is foreseen, through which Switzerland will digitally archive a copy of the documentation from the Colombian Truth Commission.