Open Debate "The promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security"
(New York, February 19, 2014)
Statement by H.E. Miguel Camilo Ruiz, at the Security Council
Let me thank you for the organization of the present debate and for the preparation of the concept note that guides it. I also want to acknowledge all the previous insightful statements, as well as the presentation of the Report of the Secretary-General on Measuring the effectiveness of the support provided by the United Nations system for the promotion for the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict situations (S/2013/341).
Colombia considers of great significance the rule of law as a key element for the maintenance and strengthening of institutions, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of justice.
Evidence of this is that in Colombia international treaties referred to human rights and international humanitarian law are part of the concept of "Constitutional corpus" which, according to our national jurisprudence, means their provisions are binding and integrated into the normative body as a constitutional provision with a higher ranking over domestic law.
In applying these regulations we act in accordance with the principles that inspire and in line with the belief that our country's efforts to strengthening the rule of law should depart from State initiatives in accordance with their particular needs and institutional capacity.
Colombia believes that the administration of justice is one of the primary roles of States and that it depends on the strength of their democratic institutions.
Therefore, we welcome the interest shown during the development and implementation of measures launched by the Government of Colombia to ensure the rights of victims to truth, justice, and reparation, hand in hand of reforms to the justice administration system.
These measures comprise –but are not limited to- legislation such as the Law 975 of 2005 or "Justice and Peace Act" by which the demobilization of illegal armed groups is regulated, and the Law 1448 of 2011 or "Victims and Land Restitution Act" which establishes measures for comprehensive assistance to victims of the armed conflict and their reparation.
Additionally, we also count with the Legislative Act 01 of 2012 or "Legal Framework for Peace," which is a transitional justice strategy to investigate and punish serious human rights and international law violations.
These provisions could be a benchmark for programs strengthening the rule of law in countries with similar contexts to that of Colombia
While Colombia recognizes the importance of the International Criminal Court in the fight against impunity for the most heinous crimes against humanity, it must also be stressed that the strengthening of national capacities of States to prosecute and punish such crimes in the interest of lasting and sustainable peace.
We are aware of the challenges posed by the full implementation of the rule of law. We are committed to continue to work for it and achieve well-being and prosperity for all our citizens.
In this context, we appreciate the support and accompaniment that the United Nations can provide us in our efforts to strengthening the rule of law in Colombia.
We also know the responsibilities associated with the proper administration of justice. With the Law 1395 of 2010 we are seeking to eliminate bottlenecks in the judiciary and to make it a more effective tool for a Speedy and complete justice for all citizens.
Colombia wants to stress how important is that the analysis of different situations, should take into account the particular characteristics of each situation, including the existence of traditions and different legal bases, as well as challenges of dissimilar origin, in order to avoid conceptualizations or generalizations that are hard to adapt once in the field.
We want to insist on the importance that the United Nations, and particularly the Security Council, privilege a perspective of cooperation with States in relation to strengthening all those areas that could be subject of improvement. To do so it is necessary to deepen the bridges of communication between the General Assembly, ECOSOC, and the Security Council.
Finally, Madam President, I would like to highlight that the actions by the United Nations in this field work at its best when they complement the efforts by the States. It would be difficult to understand that decisions taken by the Security Council in the framework of abstract topics of general application may be applied in specific situations against the course set by the legitimately constituted authorities in consolidating the rule of law.
Thank you very much.