President Santos played an integral role in the Colombian peace process and the successful negotiation of an agreement in 2016. Since then some 10,000 former fighters have disarmed and entered civilian life and 10 former FARC leaders take their seats in parliament. Ireland, and the example set by Ireland, played a supportive role in this process with former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore serving as EU special envoy to the negotiations in Colombia.
Speaking in Tipperary on Friday, Senator Higgins said, “Former President Santos has demonstrated the level of political courage which is required to ensure a peaceful future for his country. He demonstrated a deep commitment to parliamentary and democratic processes and to inclusion of all in the peace talks.”
“He is a very worthy recipient of the Tipperary Peace Prize at a time when there is an increasing shift towards militarisation internationally, It is important to recognise and highlight the powerful work of peace-making and peacemakers like President Santos and the value they place on common humanity.”
Senator Higgins, through her work with Trócaire as part of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, was honoured to be awarded the Tipperary Peace Prize in 2008.
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