About Us   -   Contact   Español PortuguesItalianoAleman

Political Participation

1
0
1
s2smodern
powered by social2s

Colombia has a non-democratic political system marked by State terrorism. A democratic opening means not only institutional reforms, but also a depuration of the State apparatus of those members and institutions committed with the persecution and stigmatization of the opposition. Also, the establishment of democracy needs some constitutional changes that will allow the abolition of all forms of corruption and clientelism.

The FARC-EP has made a hundred minimum proposals for real democratization, peace with social justice and national reconciliation, in which they seek a democratic re-structuring of the State and a political reform, full guarantees for the opposition (for example abolishing counterinsurgency practices within the Armed Forces), guarantees for guerrilla organizations changed into political party and democratization of the information and of mass media.

An important aspect in all the minimum proposals is the participation of the people, in the media, in the Chamber of Representatives, through Assemblies at a national, regional and local level, but also in institutional bodies. The FARC-EP demands the right to protest without being stigmatized and persecuted, through the abolition of the so-called “Law of Citizen Security”, but also through educational programs that teach people to respect differences.

Finally, the FARC proposes a National Constituent Assembly, in which all sectors of society should be represented.

The partial agreement “Democratic opening for peace building” generates minimum conditions for implementing democracy in Colombia. The agreement is divided into three parts:

The first is mainly about political parties and movements, looking for the definitive proscription of stigmatization and persecution of political minorities, and for creating the guarantees for a fair democratic competition.

The second part is about social movements and organizations and seeks the strengthening of the mechanisms for the participation of citizens and social monitoring.

The third part is focused on the whole Colombian society and seeks a broader participation of all social sectors in politics.

Introduction

The National Government and the FARC-EP consider that:
The construction and consolidation of peace, in the framework of the end of the conflict, requires a democratic broadening, allowing the emergence of new forces in the political scene, thus enriching the debate and deliberation on the greatest national problems, while at the same time strengthening pluralism and consequently the representation of society's different views and interests, along with the guarantees for participation and political inclusion. It is important to widen and qualify democracy as a condition for a solid foundation to forge peace.

The construction of peace is a matter of society as a whole and requires the participation of everyone without distinction and, therefore, it is necessary to arouse the interest and determination of Colombian society to build such a purpose -which is a mandatory right and duty-, as a basis to lead Colombia to the path of peace with social justice and reconciliation, addressing the popular demand for peace. This includes the strengthening of social organizations and movements, as well as the strengthening of scenarios of participation, which should guarantee the impact of the exercise of citizen participation, and effectively complement and invigorate democracy.

The signing and implementation of the Final Agreement will contribute to the broadening and deepening of democracy as it will involve the abandonment of arms and the proscription of violence as a method of political action for Colombian people, allowing to move towards a scenario where democracy reigns with full guarantees for those participating in politics, thus opening new spaces for participation.
To build peace, it is necessary to guarantee pluralism by facilitating the constitution of new political parties and movements that contribute to the debate and democratic processes, with sufficient guarantees for the opposition to become a real alternative power. Democracy requires, -in the scenario of the end of conflict-, strengthening the guarantees of political participation.

The consolidation of peace also requires the promotion of coexistence, tolerance and non-stigmatization, to ensure conditions of respect for democratic values, as well as promoting respect for the political opposition.

These guarantees represent, on the one hand, a more equitable distribution of public resources for political parties and movements, and a greater transparency of the electoral process, which requires a series of immediate measures, especially in regions where risks and threats persist, as well as a comprehensive review of the electoral system and the structure and functions of the electoral authorities.

On the other hand, it requires the establishment of greater guarantees for the exercise of political opposition.

The review and modernization of the electoral system and its organization must promote greater participation of citizens in the electoral process. Greater participation additionally requires inclusive electoral measures to facilitate the exercise of this right, especially in remote areas affected by conflict and negligence.

Peace building also requires citizen mobilization and participation in public affairs, and particularly in the implementation of this Agreement. This implies, on the one hand, strengthening the guarantees and capacities for citizens in organizations and different social and political movements to develop their activities and thus contribute to the expression of the interests of a pluralistic and multicultural society through different means, including social protest.

Furthermore, it has to be guaranteed that citizen participation in the discussion of development plans, of public policies and general issues regarding the community, effectively impacts the decisions of relevant authorities and public corporations. In this way citizen participation becomes a true complement as well as a control mechanism of the political representation system and of public administration.
The promotion of both political pluralism as well as organizations and social movements and, in general, of democratic debate, requires new broadcasting spaces for parties, organizations and communities involved in peace building to have access to spaces in TV channels and radio stations at the national, regional and local levels.

Additionally, in a transitional phase, peace building requires that the areas most affected by conflict and negligence benefit from a greater representation in the Congress, in order to ensure political inclusion of these territories and their populations, as well as a representation of their interests.

Similarly, it is necessary to create conditions and provide guarantees for armed organizations to transform themselves into political parties or movements, and actively participate in the formation, exercise and control of political power, so that their proposals and their projects will be able to become an alternative power.

To accomplish the above, the necessary revisions and institutional adjustments leading to full political and civic participation of all political and social sectors will be made, in order to meet the challenges of building peace.

1. Political Opposition

2.1. Rights and full guarantees for the exercise of political opposition in general, and in particular for new movements arising after signing the Final Agreement. Access to the media.

2.1.1. Rights and guarantees for the exercise of political opposition in general

The exercise of politics is not exclusively limited to participation in the political and electoral system, which is why the creation of spaces for democracy and pluralism in Colombia requires the acknowledgment of both the opposition practiced by parties and political movements, as well as the very forms of action of those organizations and social and popular movements that might become opposition to National Government policies, and to regional and municipal authorities.

To that extent, the definition of guarantees for the opposition requires a distinction between political opposition carried out within the political and representation system, and the activities carried out by organizations or social and popular movements that could eventually become forms of opposition to policies of the National Government and departmental and municipal authorities.

For political parties and movements declaring themselves in opposition, guarantees will be consigned in a statute for their exercise, while for the above mentioned organizations and popular and social movements it is necessary not only to ensure the full enjoyment of rights and liberties, including those of the opposition, but also to promote and facilitate opportunities for them to process their claims.

2.1.1.1. Statute of guarantees for the exercise of political opposition
The exercise of political opposition is a cornerstone for the construction of a broad democracy, peace with social justice and national reconciliation, even more so after signing a final agreement that will open spaces for the creation of new parties and political movements that will require full guarantees for the exercise of politics.

Following the signing of the Final Agreement*, parties and political movements with legal status will be convened in a Commission to define the guidelines of the statute of guarantees for political parties and movements declaring themselves in opposition. Additionally, this scenario for discussion will convene other representative political groups of opposition, as agreed by the Parties. The Commission will, through an event, facilitate the participation of spokesmen from the most representative organizations and social movements, experts and academics, among others. Based on these guidelines, the National Government, together with the delegates from the Commission of parties and political movements, will draft a law. 

* In the discussion of point 6 of the agenda, the time schedule and measures of control for the realization of the agreement will be defined.

2.1.2. Security guarantees for the exercise of politics

As part of a qualitatively new and modern conception of security, which within the framework of the end of the conflict, is based on the respect for human dignity, on the promotion and respect for human rights and the defense of democratic values, particularly the protection of rights and liberties of those who exercise politics and especially of those who after the termination of the armed confrontation will become political opposition - and so would have to be treated as such- the National Government will establish a new Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics.

In an end-of-conflict scenario, the maximum possible guarantees must be established for the exercise of politics and thus channel the solution to conflicts and differences through the ways of democracy, contributing decisively to create a climate of coexistence and reconciliation.

The Comprehensive Security System is conceived within a framework of guarantees of rights and liberties, and seeks to ensure the promotion and protection of the person, respect for life and freedom of thought and opinion, in order to strengthen and deepen democracy.

This new Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics should contribute to, and ensure a culture of coexistence, tolerance and solidarity that will dignify the practice of politics and provide guarantees to prevent any form of stigmatization and persecution of leaders because of their political activities, their freedom of speech, or their opposition. Precautions will be taken to avoid security conceptions that, using any excuse, go against the objectives of the system, which are the protection of the lives of those who exercise politics and the non-stigmatization of their ideas and political activities. The new Comprehensive System will promote, within state institutions, parties and political movements, organizations and social movements and communities in general, a culture of respect for differences and an interest for the prevention of violence against those who practice politics.
The Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics will have a robust internal mechanism of control to ensure the competence of officials and help prevent and, if necessary, punish any conduct against the rights of people it has to protect. The Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics will be structured in line with a person-centered concept of security, based on the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention and self-determination of the peoples, and will allow coordination between security measures and measures for development and individual and collective well-being, included in this agreement.

Additionally, the Government will strengthen, concentrate and deploy its highest institutional capacity to prevent, dismantle and neutralize, with a multidimensional approach, any possible source of violence against those who exercise politics, and it will take all necessary measures to ensure that no paramilitary groups re-emerge (see item 3).

* The security guarantees and the Comprehensive Security System will be complemented and fully defined in the development of point 3.

2.1.2.1. Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics
Under the provisions stated above, the Government will launch a Comprehensive Security System for the Exercise of Politics, considering security a democratic value and under the perspective of humanism, which should inspire the conduct of the State. The system should serve as an effective guarantee of the rights and freedoms of those who are exercising politics within the framework of democratic rules.
The system will include the following elements:

aNormative and institutional adjustments:

- Creation of a high-level body that:

• Implements a Security System for the Exercise of Politics and ensures its articulation, operation and supervision.

• This body will depend on the Presidency of the Republic and will establish mechanisms for permanent dialogue with political parties and movements, especially those who exercise opposition, and the new movement arising from the transition of the FARC-EP to a legal political activity. The mechanisms include, among others, a planning, reporting and monitoring system, and a follow-up and evaluation committee (see paragraph d).

• This body shall oversee the functioning of the system and serve as pivotal axis with other State institutions such as the Ombudsman's Office, the Attorney’s Office, and the Prosecutor's Office.

• Review of the regulatory framework to increase the charges for crimes against those who exercise politics.

• Strengthening investigative and prosecution capacities to judge offenses against those exercising politics. A specialization process will be started during the phase of investigation and indictment, to increase the institutional capacity to fight impunity.

b. Prevention:

• Early Warning System:

• The system must have a territorial and differential approach.

• The State will provide sufficient funding for adequate and comprehensive operation of this early warning system.

• Preventive deployment of security:

• Concept of comprehensive territorial control, which includes the involvement of citizens in the regions to assist in the protection of those who exercise political activity, within the framework of the peace-building process.

-  Inclusive and auditable coordination system.

c. Protection:

• Specialized protection program for new members of the political movement arising from the transition of the FARC-EP to a legal political activity, to be concerted between the FARC-EP and the National Government.

• Specialized protection, based on risk managing, for the following people: those who have been popularly elected, those declared in political opposition and leaders of political parties and movements, with a differential approach and both national and regional presence.

• The risk assessment shall be promptly defined and will be responsibility of a body within the system that will prompt the Government to take relevant measures. The body will have capabilities at a regional and local level and will include the representation of the new political movement arising from the transition of the FARC-EP to legal political activity, with which all decisions and actions will be coordinated.

• The Government will have the necessary resources to protect the integrity of leaders involved in political activity.


d. Evaluation and monitoring:

• A system of planning, information and monitoring, with an inter-institutional character and representation of political parties and movements, allowing an evaluation of performance and results, while adjusting the strategy and procedures to guarantee security conditions to the exercise of politics will be created. Such system will be permanently accompanied by international humanitarian organizations agreed with the new parties or movements arising after signing the Final Agreement, as well as with other political parties and movements willing to participate.

• Accountability through public reports by the high-level body.

• A commission will be created to monitor and evaluate the performance of the comprehensive protection system and the progress in dismantling criminal organizations and all those who threaten the exercise of politics. The commission shall have representation of political parties and movements.

• A committee will be created and put into operation to promote investigations for crimes against those who exercise politics and especially those who threaten the opposition.

2.1.2.2. Security guarantees for leaders of social organizations and movements and human rights defenders

a. Normative and institutional adjustments:

• Review of the regulatory framework to increase the charges for crimes against leaders of social organizations and movements and human rights defenders.

• Strengthening research capacities and prosecution against those who attack leaders of social organizations and movements and human rights defenders.

• Guarantees for social mobilization and social protest, including the review of the regulatory framework.

b. Prevention:

• Early Warning System.

• Preventive Security Deployment.

• Coordination System

• To make visible the work carried out by organizations and leaders of social movements and human rights defenders.

c. Protection:

• Strengthen the program of individual protection for the leaders of social organizations, movements and human rights defenders under threat.

d. Evaluation and monitoring:

• An information and monitoring system of inter-institutional character, allowing an evaluation of results and performance, adjusting the strategy and procedures to ensure security conditions to organizations, leaders of social movements and human rights defenders.

• Accountability through public reports, a monitoring committee and a special hearing.

A committee to promote investigations of crimes against leaders of social organizations and movements and human rights defenders.

2. Citizen participation

2.2. Democratic citizen participation mechanisms, including direct participation at different levels and issues

2.2.1. Guarantees for social movements and organizations

To ensure the right of any person to establish any type of social organizations; to be part of them and disseminate their platforms; to freedom of speech and dissent; to pluralism and tolerance; to political or social protest through mobilization and action; and taking into account the need for a political culture for peaceful resolution of conflicts and the State's obligation to ensure public and deliberative dialogue, steps shall be taken to ensure the recognition, strengthening and empowerment of all social movements and organizations according to their repertoires and social action platforms.
The Government will guarantee the political rights of citizens who are organized as political actors in social movements and organizations.
Citizen participation in public affairs by establishing and strengthening different organizations and movements is a cornerstone for the construction and functioning of democracy.
An organized and democratic society is a necessary condition for building a stable and lasting peace, especially within the framework of the implementation of this Agreement. Therefore, it is important to take actions to strengthen social organizations and movements, in particular, providing guarantees for participation and dialogue with the authorities, respecting the differential approach, without affecting the universal character that these guarantees would have.
All social organizations and movements, including those that will arise after signing this Agreement, are called to exercise rights and fulfil duties of citizen participation enshrined in it.
For these purposes, the National Government will draw up a draft law on guarantees and promotion of citizen participation and other activities carried out by the social organizations and movements, based on the following guidelines that will be discussed at a national level, featuring the participation of spokesmen from most representative social organizations and movements:

*During the discussion on Point 6 of the Agenda, time schedule and control measures for the implementation of the agreement will be defined

• Guarantee the right to timely and open access to official information in the framework of the Constitution and the law. (*And regulatory adjustments resulting from the agreement) What is in brackets remains pending.

• Regulation of the right to reply and the right of correction, headed by most representative organizations and social movements against false or offensive statements by the National Government.

• To make – together with social organizations and movements- a characterization and registry of social organizations both formal and informal, periodically updated to identify, without detriment to its nature and its autonomy, capacities and needs, and the existence of networks and partnerships as a basis for the development of public policy or for its amendment.

• To support through legal and technical assistance, the creation and strengthening of social organizations and movements. Without undermining the principle of equality, the most vulnerable will be supported with extraordinary measures.

• At the request of social organizations and movements, accelerate systematization and exchange of successful strengthening experiences, and educate and training them to develop their mission objectives, with the support of other organizations and movements of similar nature, when appropriate.

• Strengthen mechanisms for financing initiatives and projects of social organizations, through public and transparent and public tenders with citizen oversight.

• Promote the creation of social organizations and movements networks to highlight leaderships and guarantee their capability to full dialogue with political powers.

• Access to diffusion mechanisms to make the work and the opinion of the organizations and social movements visible, including spots on TV channels and radio stations of public interest.

• In such bodies for citizen participation, representation of organizations and social movements, citizen control and interlocution with local, municipal, departmental and national authorities will be expanded and ensured.

• To design methodologies that contribute to the effectiveness and impact of instances of participation and dialogue, including those established according to their nature (formal or informal) and specificity. These methodologies will especially ensure monitoring mechanisms and accountability of the agreements arising from the participation scenarios with social organizations and movements

• Implement monitoring and verification instances over compliance of the obligations by the authorities, compromises and guarantees for the establishment, functioning and effectiveness of spaces for citizen participation and in particular those of dialogue with social organizations and movements

• Create a tool to evaluate, make visible and encourage management from public authorities regarding the participation of social organizations and movements.

• The exchange of successful experiences in citizen participation between social organizations and local and regional authorities, according to the specificity of the various territories, will be ensured.

• Promote the construction of local, municipal, departmental and national working agendas according to the case, enabling early attention to requests and proposals made by different sectors through social organizations and movements.

• Local authorities should timely address requests and proposals, and channel them according to their competence, in order for them to be attended promptly and effectively.

The National Government will consider and assess the feasibility of additional guarantees proposed within the framework of the national space of participation, in a Dialogue Commission with spokesmen from the most representative social organizations and movements, selected throughout mechanisms defined by the organizers. Such mechanism should be participative and guarantee a pluralistic and balanced representation in the commission.
The National Government and the FARC-EP will decide the organizers, criteria and guidelines for the development of the national participation space, in order to guarantee a plural and balanced representation.

2.2.2. Guarantees for social mobilization and protest

Social mobilization and protest, as a form of political action, are legitimate exercises of the right to assembly, to move freely, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and to exercise opposition within a democracy. Its practice enriches political inclusion and forges a critical citizenship, open to social dialogue and the collective construction of a Nation. Moreover, in an end-of-conflict scenario, different spaces for channelling citizen demands should be ensured, including full guarantees for mobilization, protest and peaceful coexistence. Along with the social mobilization and protest, the rights of activists and other citizens should be guaranteed.
The processes of political and social democratization, supported by the broadest social and popular participation, will tend to the structural transformation of the political culture and will promote the retrieval of the value of politics.
In order to ensure the full exercise of these rights, the Government shall determine the measures and policy adjustments needed, based on the following criteria, and others to be agreed in the framework of a special commission, similar in its functions to those stipulated in 2.2.1, which will also include the participation of spokesmen from the Dialogue Commission and representatives from other sectors of society. Within its framework, the special commission will examine the incomes from the national participation space mentioned in the previous item, as in those proposed by other sectors of society:

• Full guarantees for social mobilization and protest as part of constitutional law of free speech, assembly and opposition, favoring dialogue and civilized treatment to this kind of activity.

• Guarantees to the rights of protesters and other citizens.

• Necessary guarantees to exercise the freedom of information during social mobilization and protest.

• Reviewing and, if necessary, amending the rules that apply to social mobilization and protest.

• Guarantees for the implementation and respect of human rights in general. Riots will be treated with civility.

• Strengthening surveillance and control over actions and means used by the authorities to treat this type of activity.

• Guarantees for dialogue to become a state response to social mobilization and protest, by establishing interchange mechanisms and participation spaces and, when necessary, seek for agreement, giving democratic treatment to social mobilization and protest; and mechanisms for monitoring compliance of such agreements. Always attempting that decisions are for the common good.

• The Public Ministry will accompany demonstrations and protests as a guarantor of respect for democratic freedoms, where appropriate or at the request of the protesters or those affected.

The Government within the framework of public policy strengthening, promotion and guarantees for the participation of social organizations and movements will strengthen and expand the instances of citizen participation in dialogue and building agendas of local, municipal, departmental and national work, as appropriate, to enable early intervention requests and proposals from different social sectors and organizations.

2.2.3. Citizen participation through communitarian, institutional and regional media

Communitarian, institutional and regional media should contribute to citizen participation and especially promote civic values, different ethnic and cultural identities, political and social inclusion, national integration and in general terms, the strengthening of democracy. Citizen participation in community media also contributes to the construction of a democratic culture based on the principles of liberty, dignity and the sense of belonging, and strengthens communities with neighborly bonds or mutual collaboration.
Additionally, within the framework of the end of conflict, communitarian, institutional and regional media will contribute to the development and promotion of a participative culture, peaceful coexistence, and peace with social justice and reconciliation.
To make progress in achieving these goals, the National Government commits to:

• Open new calls for the allocation of community radio stations, especially in the areas most affected by the conflict, and thus promoting the democratization of information and of the electromagnetic spectrum available.

• Promote technical training for community media workers, and education and training for community journalists and media operators, through processes seeking to dignify free expression and opinion.

• Open new spaces in radio stations and institutional and regional channels to broadcast the work of social organizations and movements, and communities in general, and also about issues related to the rights of vulnerable populations, peace with social justice and reconciliation, and the implementation of plans and programs agreed in the framework of this agreement.

• Finance the production and diffusion of contents, promoting a culture of peace with social justice and reconciliation, both by public media of special interest and communitarian media. The allocation will occur through public and transparent tenders counting with mechanisms of citizen oversight.

2.2.4. Guarantees for reconciliation, coexistence, tolerance and non-stigmatization -especially for political and social actions-, and within the framework of civility

In an end-of-conflict scenario, everyone, including the parties to this Agreement should contribute to advance in the construction of a culture of reconciliation, coexistence, tolerance and non-stigmatization, involving respectful and dignifying language and conducts in the exercise of politics and social mobilization, and creating conditions to strengthen the recognition and defense of constitutional rights.
With this objective, the Government will establish a National Council for Reconciliation and Coexistence, which shall consist of representatives from the Government, Public Ministry, delegates from political parties and movements, including those arising from the transition of the FARC-EP to a legal political activity, social organizations and movements, particularly of women, peasants, unions, ethnic minorities, churches and educational sectors among others. The Council will be in charge of advising and assisting the Government in the implementation of mechanisms and actions which include:

• Devising and implementing a program for reconciliation, coexistence and prevention of stigmatization, with the participation of local authorities.

• Promoting respect for differences, criticism and political opposition.

• Promoting respect for their activities towards building peace and reconciliation movements and different political and social organizations.

• Promoting respect for the activities carried out by social and human rights organizations, particularly those that oversee governmental management and oppose to its policies.

• Training government officials and organizations and social movements leaders to ensure non-stigmatization

• Pedagogics and didactics of the Final Agreement: promotion of training and communication programs for the appropriation of this Agreement, particularly designing social and political participation agreements. A special program for the diffusion will be created and implemented from the public and private educational system at all levels. 

• Devising and implementing campaigns for massive diffusion of a culture of peace, reconciliation, pluralism and free debate of ideas on the development of democracy.

• Promoting reconciliation, coexistence and tolerance, especially in the populations most affected by the conflict

• Training social organizations and movements, as well as public officials in leadership positions at national, departmental and municipal levels, in the treatment and resolution of conflicts.

• Creating a chair of political culture for reconciliation and peace.

Councils for Reconciliation and Peaceful Coexistence at territorial levels will be established in order to advise and assist local authorities in the implementation of the agreement so that the particularities of the territories are addressed.

2.2.5. Control and citizen oversight

Participation and control by citizens are essential to ensure transparency of public management and good use of resources; and to advance the fight against corruption and against the penetration of criminal structures in public institutions.
The control on the hands of citizens is even more necessary in an end-of-conflict and peace-building context, for which it will be necessary to make large investments to meet the objectives of this agreement throughout the national territory, especially in the prioritized areas.
In order to promote and strengthen control by citizens and democratization and greater transparency of public administration, the National Government will:

• Establish a plan to support the creation and promotion of citizen oversight committees and transparency observatories, with special emphasis on control by the citizens in the implementation of this Agreement. The plan will be launched within the contest of specialized organizations and institutions of higher education, among others, to provide support and technical assistance.

• Ensure support to the national plan to train observers promoting the communities.

• Create information mechanisms at local, regional and national level easily accessible in order to guarantee publicity and transparency in the implementation of this Agreement, as part of an accountability system for the Agreement.

• Within the framework of a special program for the elimination and prevention of corruption during the implementation of this Agreement, it will create a special mechanism for attention, processing, and monitor denounces and corruption alerts made by citizens and social organizations and movements about possible acts of corruption in general, with emphasis on matters relating to the implementation of this Agreement.

• Promote a massive institutional campaign to publicize the rights of citizens and the obligations and duties of the authorities in terms of participation and control of public administration on the part of citizens, and administrative and judicial mechanisms to demand their enforcement

• Likewise, this campaign will cover the diffusion of all mechanisms for participation and control by citizens, how the citizens may participate in them, and their importance for a truly democratic life.

• Strengthen the mechanisms of accountability of all public servants elected at national, departmental and municipal levels, and other public entities and companies providing public services. Especially, it will promote dialogue instances within the framework of corresponding participation scenarios.

• Link public universities through internships and projects of community intervention with mass campaigns for the promotion of citizen participation and control.

* The figure of community defenders or Public Ministry analogous in the regions will be strengthened as a mechanism to empower communities (this issue will be discussed in section 5 of the Agenda).

2.2.6. Policy for the strengthening of democratic and participatory planning

Promoting good practices on participatory planning is key to the strengthening of democracy in Colombia, especially in the context of the implementation of this Agreement in the regions, which will require social mobilization and active and effective citizen participation. In order to strengthen participation in the devise, discussion, monitoring, execution, evaluation of the planning processes and budget definition, and to promote their incidence on administrative decisions, the Government commits to carry out the following actions:

a. Review the functions and the establishment of the Regional Planning Councils, in order to:

• Increase citizen participation in the formulation of development plans and monitoring their implementation and evaluation. Adopt measures to promote the
establishment of Territorial Planning Councils to ensure broad and pluralistic representation relying among others, on networks, alliances and existent economic, social, cultural, environmental, educational and communitarian organizations. The latter will designate their delegates to these instances.

• Guarantee the participation of the Council in the preparation, discussion, follow-up of the execution and the evaluation of Plans. Mechanisms will be established for its interchange with approving instances.

• Strengthen the participation of Local Administrative councils in the preparation of development plans.

• Promote connections among the different formal and informal instances of participatory planning.

• Make the necessary normative adjustments for the concepts, statements
and monitoring reports carried out by participatory planning bodies to be answered by public authorities in spaces and instances of dialog and interchange.

• Ensure that the concepts of the Territorial Planning Councils receive priority attention from public authorities.

• Strengthen the spaces for dialogue and accountability between participatory planning instances and organizations or the sectors they represent, to ensure the process of civic planning initiatives, among others.

• Strengthen the technical capabilities of the participatory planning instances.

• Promote the participation of women in the Territorial Councils.

b. Provide technical assistance to municipal and departmental authorities requiring it for the participatory formulation of different planning tools.

c. Make a comprehensive and participatory review of the participation system in the processes of planning and in particular on:

• Articulating territorial and national planning authorities.

• The composition and functioning of the National Planning Council in order to ensure a wide and pluralistic representation.

• The effectiveness of the system.

The National Government will make the necessary adjustments resulting from the review process at all levels of the participation system in the planning process.

d. Strengthen institutional plans and methodology in order to facilitate citizen participation and to ensure its effectiveness in the formulation of public social policies such as health, education, the fight against poverty and inequality, environment and culture. To this end, the National Government will review, with the participation of stakeholders, the institutions, and local participation processes and will instruct the relevant institutions to adjust their regulations, organization and operation.

e. Strengthen and promote the construction of participatory budgeting at the local level in order to:

• Promote citizen participation in the prioritization of one part of the investment budget, so that it reflects the conclusions of the participatory planning exercises.

• Create incentives for the design and implementation of participatory budgets.

• Promote monitoring and accountability mechanisms for the participatory budgeting exercises.

3. Promotion of political participation

2. 3. Effective measures to promote greater participation in politics at national, regional and local levels, of all sectors, -including the most vulnerable ones– under equal conditions and security guarantees.

2.3.1. Promoting political pluralism

With the aim of promoting political pluralism and the representation of a party system, by extending the right to associate for political purposes and guarantees to ensure equal conditions for the participation of political parties and movements and thereby broaden and deepen democracy, the Government will develop:

2.3.1.1. Measures to promote access to political system

Within the framework of the end of conflict and in order to consolidate peace, obstacles will be removed and institutional changes will be made for political parties and movements to obtain and maintain legal status, and in particular to facilitate the transition of social movements and organizations with political vocation to political movements and parties.
For this purpose, the following measures will be taken:

Separate the achieving and maintaining a legal status by political parties and movements from the current requirement of accomplishing the electoral threshold in congress elections, and in consequence, redefine such requirements for its constitution. One of these will be the number of members.

• Devising a system of progressive acquisition of rights to parties and political movements, according to its electoral performance at municipal, departmental and national levels.

• The system will incorporate a transitional regime for eight years, which will include funding and outreach programs to promote and stimulate new national political parties and movements appearing for the first time in the political arena.

* In Point 5 "Victims" of the Agenda of the General Agreement, the following proposal from the FARC-EP will be discussed: Measures of reparation and restitution of rights for those parties which, as in the case of the UP, have been severely affected by violent actions against their militancy.

2.3.1.2Measures to promote equality of conditions for political contest
In order to establish a more equitable distribution of resources, measures will be taken in order to:

• Increase the percentage that is equally distributed between the parties or political movements with representation in the Congress and increase the financing funds of political parties and movements.

• Broaden diffusion of the political agendas of parties or political movements represented in Congress.

2.3.2.  Promoting electoral participation
 In order to promote greater electoral participation, the National Government will
boost, together with the competent authorities, the following measures:

• Promote information, training, education and outreach campaigns, to encourage electoral turnout at national and regional levels, with particular emphasis on promoting greater participation of vulnerable populations and territories particularly affected by conflict and negligence.

• Conduct a massive national registration (ID assignment) campaign, prioritizing marginalized areas of urban centers and in rural areas, particularly in those most affected by conflict and negligence.

• Support the management that the electoral organization will carry out in order to stimulate and facilitate electoral participation, particularly of the most vulnerable and remote populations (rural, marginalized, displaced persons and victims), and in particular:

• Promoting a broadly participatory exercise to identify the obstacles faced by populations in the exercise of voting rights, and so take appropriate measures.

• Adopt mechanisms to facilitate access to voting places for the communities living in remote and scattered areas.


2.3.3. Promoting transparency

2.3.3.1. Measures to promote transparency in electoral processes

With the aim of promoting greater electoral transparency, the National Government will guarantee, together with the competent authorities, the implementation of the following measures:

• Advance prevention campaigns or behaviors that threaten the transparency of electoral processes.

• Enable mechanisms to facilitate citizen complaints and create a system for monitoring.

• Conduct a technical audit of the electoral census, which will include the accompaniment and effective participation of citizens and representatives of political parties and political movements.

• Establish a national court for electoral guarantees and sectional special courts in the districts with high risks of electoral fraud. The districts are defined in accordance with the complaints and alerts received by the electoral organization by the authorities, citizenship, specialized NGOs in monitoring elections and political parties and movements, among others.

• Strengthen the capacity to investigate and punish crimes, electoral offenses and criminal infiltration in politics.

• Support measures to ensure greater transparency in the financing of election campaigns.

• Support the implementation of electronic media in the electoral process, with guarantees of transparency.

• Promote the participation of social movements and organizations or other civic organization in monitoring and control of electoral processes.

• Promote processes of training, education and political communication in public affairs.

2.3.3.2. Transparency measures for the allocation of government advertising

In order to ensure transparency in the allocation of government advertising, so that it will not be used for bipartisan electoral purposes, or personal promotion of political projects, especially at election times, the National Government will promote the necessary adjustments in the regulations for governmental advertising at the national, departmental and municipal levels are assigned according to a transparent, objective and equitable criteria, taking into account the means and opportunities for local and community media.
In addition, the regulations should ensure that spending on government advertising is of known public funding, through the publication of detailed reports.

2.3.4. Reform of the electoral system and organization

In order to ensure greater autonomy and independence of the electoral organization, including the National Electoral Council or the institution in lieu thereof, and to modernize and make more transparent the electoral system, to thereby provide greater guarantees for political participation on an equal footing and improve the quality of democracy following the signing of the Final Agreement*, a special electoral mission will be established. The mission will consist of senior experts, to be selected according to the mechanisms agreed by the Parties, within a period of six months to submit its recommendations based, among others, in national and international best practices and the inputs received from political parties, movements and electoral authorities. Based on these recommendations, the Government will make the regulatory and necessary institutional adjustments.

* In the discussion of Item 6 of the Agenda, the time schedule and control measures for the implementation of the agreement will be defined.

2.3.5. Promotion of a democratic and participatory political culture

The strengthening of political and social participation involves a necessary transformation of the political culture in the country. In order to expand and strengthen democracy and thereby consolidate peace, it is necessary to promote a participatory political culture based on respect for democratic values ​​and principles, accepting the contradictions and conflicts of a plural democracy, and recognition and respect for political opposition.
A democratic and participatory political culture must contribute to equality among citizens, humanism, solidarity, and social cooperation and thus provide a transparent management of public management practices banning patronage and corruption. Additionally, it should encourage the management of conflicts through mechanisms provided by politics and outlaw violence as a method of political action. Progress towards a democratic and participatory political culture involves promoting and ensuring the value and meaning of politics as a means to achieve political, economic, social, environmental and cultural rights. A democratic and participatory political culture should contribute to the further integration of the most vulnerable social sectors, as well as peasants, indigenous and Afro-descendent communities and the LGBTI population.
To promote a democratic and participative culture, the National Government will implement the following measures:

• Promotion of democratic values, political participation and its mechanisms to encourage and ensure its effective use and knowledge and thus strengthen the exercise of constitutional rights through media campaigns and workshops. Special emphasis will be placed on the most vulnerable populations and the rural population, indigenous and Afro-descendent and the LGBTI population.

• Strengthening education programs for democracy at different levels of education.

• Promotion of programs for political and social leadership and party members of social organizations.

• Program to promote the participation and leadership of women in politics.

2.3.6. Promoting political representation of populations and areas especially affected by conflict and negligence

Within the framework of the end of conflict and in order to ensure better integration of areas particularly affected by conflict, negligence and weak institutional presence, and a greater inclusion and political representation of those populations and their political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, as well as a measure of reparation and peace building, the National Government is committed to create in these areas a total of X Special Temporary Peace Constituencies for the election of a total of X representatives to the House of Representatives*, temporarily and for X electoral periods.

* There is no agreement on the number of electoral periods

The Constituencies will have special rules for the registration and election of candidates. Similarly, campaigns will have access to special financing and regional media. Special support mechanisms will be established to ensure the transparency of the electoral process and the free voting of voters.
Candidates in all cases must be persons who live regularly in these territories or who have been displaced from them and are in the process of return. Candidates may be registered by significant groups of citizens or organizations in the constituency, such as farmers' organizations, victims (including IDPs), women and social sectors work towards building peace and improving social conditions in the region, among others.
Candidates will be elected by the citizens of those territories, without prejudice to their right to participate in the election of candidates for the House of Representatives in regular elections in their departments. The parties that have representation in the Congress of the Republic may not register candidates for these constituencies.
The electoral organization shall exercise particular vigilance on the electoral roll and the registration of candidates, ensuring that the established rules are followed.

* Pending: Regardless of this proposal FARC-EP maintains its proposal to set up Territorial Chambers

2.3.7. Promoting political and civic participation of women in the framework of this Agreement

The National Government and the FARC-EP recognize the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and the urgency to promote and strengthen participation of women in political life, even more under the framework of the end of the conflict, where their leadership and equal participation in the processes of public decision-making and in the formulation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of government policies is necessary and essential to achieve a stable and durable peace.
The National Government and the FARC-EP reject any form of discrimination against women and reaffirm that the contribution of women as political subjects in public life is vital for strengthening democracy and for the maintenance and promotion of peace. In implementing all agreed in paragraph 2 of this Agreement * the gender approach will be guaranteed, and necessary positive measures will be devised and adopted to strengthen the participation and leadership of women and, in general, to promote the implementation of the above mentioned purposes. The above, without prejudice to strengthen the fulfilment of international commitments and national rules on the matter.

*In point 6 of the Agenda of the General Agreement, a commitment in similar terms will be established for the implementation of the entire Agreement.

* This point is still to be put in place: the Government proposes to place it as point 2.1.4 while the FARC-EP proposes to place it in section 2.2.3.

Access to media

Creation of a new space to give media access to political parties and movements

As a complement to what has been agreed under sections 2.2 and 2.3 on media access for organizations and social movements and political parties and movements, respectively, the Government commits to establish a closed institutional television channel for parties and political movements with legal personality, to disseminate their political platforms in the framework of the respect for ideas and differences. That channel will also be used to publicize the work of organizations and social movements, promotion of a democratic culture of peace and reconciliation, and it will also report on the progress in the implementation of agreed plans and programs under this Agreement.

A commission composed of representatives of political movements, parties and organizations and most representative social movements will be established to assist in the broadcast programming of the channel.

Political participation for real democratization, peace with social justice and national reconciliation.

Pending Points:

1. Democratic restructuring of the state and political reform based on democratic expansion. (Reaffirmation of sovereignty; recognition and support to all kinds of social and citizen participation that strengthen direct democracy; de-centralization to the benefit of local democracy; restructuring of the Armed Forces towards the construction of peace and the protection of national sovereignty; economic reform; reform of the judicial branch to release the justice system of its politicization and corruption and give it back its independence as a branch of power).

2. Review, reform and democratization of the electoral system. (Establishment of the branch of electoral power, implementing its modernization and improving its technical aspects; re-configuration of electoral constituencies; establishment of a Territorial House, replacing the current House of Representatives; strengthening the special constituencies of indigenous and Afro-descendent communities and peoples, expanding their current levels of representation; and establishing special constituencies for peasants).

3. Review and reform of mechanisms for citizen participation (Act 134 of 1994) regarding the removal of restrictions and limitations and greater recognition of people’s initiatives.

4. Proscription of military treatment of social mobilization and protest. (Dismantlement of ESMAD, and review and amendment of public safety laws).

5. Popular election of the controlling bodies of the Comptroller and Attorney’s Offices; of the General Prosecutor and the Ombudsman, based on program proposals.

6. Citizen participation in the definition of policies of national interest, such as foreign affairs, national defense and security or administration of justice.

7. Democratization of access to the radio-electric space, information and communication, in order to prevent the monopolization of the mass media. (Democratization of its property, of access to technology of information and communications; strengthening of its public and community nature; improving working conditions of workers in the information and communication sector).

8. Land-use regulations and promotion of the participation of regions, territorial authorities and territories. (Establishment of the Territorial Participation Council with representatives from regions, departments and municipalities, and of peasants, indigenous and Afro-descendent territories; establishment of special regions, provinces and districts as local authorities; raise the Chocó department to the category of special territorial entity).

9. Participation and popular and social control in the process of public policy and planning, and, in particular, in the economic policy at national, regional, departmental and municipal levels. Macroeconomic policy for good living conditions of the population and a true social State of law.

10. Social and popular participation in bodies of the National Council of Economic and Social Policy, CONPES, the Higher Council of Fiscal Policy CONFIS, and the Board of the Bank of the Republic; social comptroller on development plans and public budgets; redesign the system of fiscal sustainability and of autonomy of the central bank.

11. Democratization and guarantees regarding participation, territorial reorganization and de-centralization for urban social justice. (Establishing a Compensation Fund to overcome social inequality, poverty, hunger and misery in the cities; National Council of Political and Social Participation with departmental and municipal replicas with representation of the sectors of society).

12. Recognition of political rights to ensure the political and social participation of peasants, Afro-descendent, indigenous communities and other excluded social sectors, extending the prior consultation and establishing the People's Power. (The UN "Declaration on the Rights of the Peasants” will be adopted).

13. Social and popular participation in integration processes of Our America, especially in CELAC and UNASUR.

14. Social and popular control and citizen oversight on treaties and agreements signed by the Colombian State, including denunciation of treaties and agreements signed by the Colombian State; transitional measures of protection against treaties and agreements that violate the rights of the population.

Havana, November 6, 2013

The Delegations of the government and the FARC-EP report that:

we have reached a basic agreement on the second item of the agenda contained in the "General Agreement for the termination of the conflict and the construction a stable and lasting peace", called Political Participation.

In the next round of talks, we will present the second joint periodic report of the Table.

According to the Agenda, we have reached consensus on the following topics:

1. Rights and guarantees for the exercise of political opposition in general and in particular for new movements that might arise after the signing of the Final Agreement. Access to media.
2. Democratic mechanisms of citizen participation, including direct involvement on different levels and different subjects.
3. Effective measures to promote greater participation in national, regional and local politics of all sectors, including the most vulnerable population, in equal conditions and with security guarantees.

What we have agreed, in its implementation, deepens and strengthens our democracy, expanding the rights and guarantees for the exercise of the opposition, as well as spaces for political and citizen participation. It promotes pluralism and political inclusion, participation and transparency in the electoral processes and the strengthening of a democratic political culture.

It is a democratic opening within the framework of the conflict. Building peace requires citizen participation in public affairs, especially in the areas most affected by violence and also the mechanisms of implementation of this Agreement.

The exercise of political opposition is vital to the construction of a broad democracy. It becomes more important after the signing of a Final Agreement, that will open space to the emergence of new political movements that require guarantees for the exercise of politics.

It states that a national event will be convened for spokespersons of political parties and movements to integrate a Commission to define the guidelines of a status of guarantees for parties that declare themselves in opposition. The timeline will be agreed when we arrive to the sixth item of the Agenda.

It was agreed that this Commission, through a forum, will facilitate the participation of spokespersons of social organizations and movements, experts and scholars to make their proposals on the Status of the Opposition. And according to these guidelines, the corresponding regulations will be drawn.

Legislation guarantees, democratic citizen participation and other activities of social organizations will be promoted, based on the guidelines established in this agreement and listening to the proposals of the spokesmen of social movements in another event of national scope. In this regard, the text says that social organizations and movements, including those arising from the signing of this Agreement, are called to exercise the rights and fulfill the duties of citizen participation. It seeks to empower citizens through participation.

In the scenario of the end of the conflict, the agreement includes a set of guarantees to channel citizen demands, including guarantees for mobilization, protest and peaceful coexistence within a context of expanded democracy.

Additional spaces will be opened so that political forces, social movements and organizations and communities in general, especially those working on peace-building, can make their proposals and projects known in institutional and regional means. Besides, we agreed to give special strength to the communitarian media to promote citizen participation.

We also agreed to establish measures to guarantee and promote a culture of reconciliation, coexistence, tolerance and non-stigmatization, which means respectful language and behavior for the ideas of both political opponents as well as social and human rights organizations.

To this end, the establishment of Councils for Reconciliation and Coexistence is planned, on national and territorial level, in order to advise and assist the authorities in implementing the agreement.

It was agreed to establish a plan to support the promotion of citizen oversight and transparency observatories, with special emphasis on the implementation of this Agreement. Greater control by the citizens of the administration and governance contributes to transparency and the fight against corruption.

We agreed on a comprehensive review of the participatory planning system to ensure the effectiveness of citizen participation in the construction and monitoring of the development plans, which will be an essential tool in the process of peace building. For the same reason, we agreed a series of measures to strengthen territorial planning councils and, again, guarantee the impact of citizen participation.

In the sub point promotion of political pluralism, it was agreed that in the context of the end of the conflict and with the aim of consolidating peace, institutional changes will be made to facilitate the establishment of political parties and the transit of social organizations and movements with political ambitions to political parties or movements.

In the case of new movements, some special conditions will be agreed, in a transitional phase, to give special support to new political movements and parties and thereby guarantee the necessary political pluralism in the construction of peace.

Measures have been agreed, within the framework of strengthening democracy and political pluralism, to guarantee transparency in the electoral process, especially in the areas of greatest risk of fraud and promoting electoral participation of citizens, especially those living in areas of difficult access.

Additionally, after the signing of the Final Agreement, a mission of experts will be launched, to make a comprehensive review of the organization and the electoral system and, on the basis of the best national and international experiences, make recommendations for the corresponding policy and institutional adjustments.

We agreed to create Special Temporary Peace Constituencies to promote territorial integration and political inclusion of areas particularly affected by the conflict and neglect, so that during a transitional period that population will have a special representation of their interests in the House of Representatives, notwithstanding their participation in regular elections.These transitional constituencies would be added to the existing ordinary constituencies. They would count with guarantees of accompaniment, to ensure transparency of the electoral process and freedom of vote for the electors. This will be launched as part of the end of the conflict, in democracy and after the signing of the Final Agreement.

We've agreed on a comprehensive security system for the exercise of politics. This system is conceived within a framework of guarantees of rights, duties and freedoms and seeks to ensure the protection of those who practice politics based on respect for life and freedom of thought and opinion, in order to strengthen and deepen democracy and help create a climate of coexistence and tolerance, and especially for the new movement arising from the FARC-EP's transition to legal political activity.

The particular conditions for the new movement arising from the transit FARC-EP to legal political activity will be discussed in item 3 of the Agenda.

The signing and implementation of the Final Agreement will contribute to the expansion and deepening of democracy, for it involves the abandonment of weapons and the banning of violence as a method of political action for all Colombians, to move to a scenario in which democracy reigns, with full guarantees for those involved in politics, and, in this way, open up new spaces for participation.

Finally it was agreed that everything regarding the item of political participation including its implementation will be carried out taking into account a gender perspective and guaranteeing the participation of women.

The agreed elements so far are part of a broader agreement that we expect to reach soon, which contains six points. From the next round of conversations, we will start the discussion of the fourth item on the Agenda (third one to be discussed) called "Solution to the Problem of Illicit Drugs"

We recall that one of the principles that guide these discussions is that "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". This means that the agreements we have been building, are conditional, until we reach an agreement on all items of the Agenda and, besides, that as progress is made ​​in the discussion, each of the agreements made on the sub points can be adjusted and supplemented.

On the other hand, the delegations arranged an office in the building where the Table of Conversations meets, to put the different objects and materials sent by the victims of the conflict through the Peace Commissions of the Congress of the Republic. With this, they want to show their respect to all victims of the conflict without distinction, issue that must be addressed in the fifth point of the Agenda of the conversations.

We highlight the contribution of the United Nations Office in Colombia and the Center Ideas For Peace of the National University, in organizing forums that have been held on the issues of political participation and illicit crops. We also incorporated the contributions of regional roundtables organized by the Peace Commissions of the Senate and House of Representatives of Colombia.

We express our gratitude to the thousands of Colombians and social organizations that have sent us their proposals and views on the items of the agenda through the forums, the Website or the forms that are available in mayor and governors' offices. Each and every one of these proposals have been received by the delegations in Havana.

We want to specially thank Cuba and Norway, guarantors of this process, for their support and for the environment of trust they provide. In the same way, we would like to thank Chile and Venezuela, accompanying countries, who are regularly receiving reports on the progress of the talks by the delegations.

These four countries are a group of nations supportive of the peace process, which we particularly appreciate. We are also grateful for the expressions of support from other nations, international organizations and leaders, who strengthen the confidence in the road we are traveling on.

These fundamental agreements are the result of intensive work carried out by both Delegations, always thinking of the Colombian people's desire for peace.

1
0
1
s2smodern