Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos took to Twitter to say that “On World Peace Day we remember that this is our greatest purpose: Colombians deserve to live without war!” Established by the United Nations in 1981, World Peace Day, also known as the International Day of Peace, is celebrated around the world on September 21st. This year’s theme is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”, which emphasizes the value of the different parts of society working in unison towards peace.
Director of Civil Service of Colombia Liliana Caballero tweeted “Peace is a decision. A decision about the future and against the past,” adding the hashtag “Peace Moves Forward.”
This comes shortly after Pope Francis expressed support to the process of peace negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the FARC, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army, which have taken place in Havana, Cuba.
“In this moment I feel the duty to direct my thoughts to the beloved land of Colombia, aware of the crucial importance of this present moment, in which, with a renewed effort and moved by hope, their children are seeking to build a society in peace,” the Argentinian pope said.
The Pontiff added, at the end of the mass celebrated in the Revolution Square in Havana, “Please, we have no right allowing us another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation."
The Pope has previously spoken about his disdain towards war on Twitter.
According to a government-funded study, over 200,000 people died between the years of 1958 and 2012 due to the ongoing war, which started over 50 years ago. During the administration of Former President Andrés Pastrana Arango in the late 90s, representatives of the Colombian government and the FARC initiated peace talks but the efforts were futile.
President Santos thanked Pope Francis saying: “We will continue on the path of peace and reconciliation.”
The Head of the Peace Delegation of the FARC Iván Márquez tweeted: “The Pope's words in favor of peace must find shelter in the heart of Colombians.”