The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Bogotá on 4-5 October 1999,
Expresses its solidarity with the Colombian people in their democratic struggle in search of reconciliation, and reiterates its interest in contributing as respectfully and constructively as possible to the success of the negotiation process between the national government and the insurgent groups.
Without peace no country has a future. Without peace the objectives of democracy and social justice demanded by the peoples of the world cannot be achieved. Only by creating the conditions for citizens' participation and for a social consensus can inequalities be fought and a solution be found to the serious difficulties faced by millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean, many of them in Colombia.
We therefore urge all Colombian men and women, particularly the Liberals and those who share our ideals and the responsibilities of social democracy, not to waver in their support for a political solution to the internal armed conflict, and for the authorities and the guerrilla movement to explore and exhaust all the alternatives there may exist to reach fair and lasting reconciliation.
SICLAC welcomes the proposal made by various sectors of Colombian society - political parties, entrepreneurs, churches, workers, peasants, non-governmental organisations - for the human aspect of the armed conflict to be highlighted while the search for peace is under way.
We also share the principle that the men and women of Colombia have a sovereign right, without any kind of foreign intervention or inappropriate interference but with altruistic assistance given in solidarity by all democratic nations of the world, to organise and direct the process which will lead to understanding and agreement.
The Committee, meeting in Bogotá, will propose to the XXI Congress of the Socialist International in Paris next month that a Standing Committee is established responsible for following events in Colombia, which will keep all member parties informed of developments in the peace process in that country and ensure the Socialist International's expressed willingness to support and cooperate in any possible way to achieving a negotiated settlement to the armed confrontation.