Wednesday 26 October 2016

Eamon Gilmore is new EU peace envoy to Colombia

Published 01/10/2015 | 19:01

Eamon Gilmore Photo: Frank McGrath
Eamon Gilmore Photo: Frank McGrath

THE former Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has been appointed as the new EU Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia.

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The High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has informed the Council and the European Parliament of the decision this afternoon.

"Mr Gilmore's direct involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process makes him an ideal envoy. It is a signal to the Colombians that the EU is standing by their efforts to put an end to one of the longest running and most murderous conflicts in the world. This is a unique opportunity that must not be lost", Ms Mogherini said.

In a statement, the HRVP added that "Mr Gilmore's mission will be to relate to all parties in Colombia and to facilitate the coordination of EU action and initiatives in support of peace, thus contributing to the smooth implementation of the future peace agreement for the benefit of all parts of Colombian society. He will also liaise closely with other key actors at the regional and international level.

"Mr Gilmore will take up his duties as soon as the relevant internal and inter-institutional procedures have been completed."

Mr. Gilmore's role will be to help coordinate the European Union's effort to support the implementation of a peace deal in Colombia, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the appointment will be for an initial period of 12 months.

“I warmly welcome the appointment of Mr Eamon Gilmore T.D., my predecessor as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, to the role of EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia," Minister Charlie Flanagan said.

“Eamon's appointment comes as the parties to the Colombian Peace Talks have announced a breakthrough on the road to a final peace agreement which aims to bring an end to a conflict that has endured for over 50 years at enormous human cost.

“I wish Eamon every success in the important task of spearheading the EU's support for Colombia's efforts to build a lasting peace for the benefit of all its people.

“Ireland has consistently supported the peace negotiations underway in Havana and the appointment of Eamon Gilmore is a further sign of Ireland's commitment.”

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