Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier on the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos in Oslo today (10 December):
I wholeheartedly congratulate President Santos on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, an honour highly deserved. And I hope that the Nobel Peace Prize will give him the energy and the incentive to continue his resolute work to bring lasting peace to Colombia.
At a time when bloody conflicts are raging all around the world, Colombia provides an instance of hope. But the country is still facing huge challenges: not only must it rapidly establish the legal basis for the implementation of the peace agreements; it must also overcome the broad divides in society ripped open by the political conflict over the peace accord. That will not come about overnight. It is all the more important, therefore, not to lose any time in proving to the people waiting so longingly for a more peaceful life that the peace agreement with the FARC exists not just on paper.
Work must begin already on projects to stabilise the situation in the conflict areas and to visibly improve the living conditions of the people there. Germany has supported Colombia on the path to peace over the last ten years, and our support certainly will not wither now as the country follows the winding road towards implementation of the peace accord.
Germany has been emphatically committed to the peace process in Colombia since 2007. Its involvement includes the personal commitment of the Envoy to the Colombian Peace Process, Tom Koenigs.
The peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerillas explicitly asks Germany to provide assistance with transitional justice and reconciliation. As part of this, the Federal Government is contributing a total of five million euros from its crisis prevention, stabilisation and post-conflict rehabilitation budget to the UN Multi-Donor Trust Fund. President Santos will be present in Brussels on 12 December for the signing of the constitutive agreement for an EU Trust Fund for Colombia, to which Germany is contributing three million euros from bilateral development cooperation funds.