In Colombia, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will meet with President Gustavo Petro and Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva to discuss our shared priorities, including advocating for strong democracies throughout the region, supporting sustainable peace and reconciliation, addressing irregular migration as a regional priority, countering narcotics trafficking, promoting and protecting human rights, and tackling the climate crisis. The Secretary will announce U.S. support for the 2016 Peace Accord’s Ethnic Chapter with Vice President Márquez and visit a migrant integration center in support of Colombia’s Temporary Protected Status policy for Venezuelan migrants, which remains a model for the region.
Colombia Remains a Vital Strategic Partner
- The United States and Colombia enjoy strong economic and cultural ties, and this year we celebrated the bicentennial of our diplomatic relations.
- We have begun engaging with President Gustavo Petro, Vice President Francia Márquez, and their administration to continue; strengthening bilateral cooperation, including Colombia’s implementation of the 2016 Peace Accord; reducing violence and narcotics trafficking; expanding rural development and security; promoting human rights and labor rights; growing inclusive trade and investment; protecting the environment;and addressing the climate crisis.
- Human rights remain a top priority. Our foreign assistance supports the Colombian government and civil society to promote a culture of human rights, prevent and investigate human rights abuses, and protect populations in vulnerable situations.
- The full social and economic inclusion of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities remains critical to lasting and inclusive peace. For years, the U.S. government has advanced ethnic inclusion by strengthening civil society, promoting labor rights and inclusive economic and environmental projects, and combatting racism and discrimination. Together, we collaborate on academic, cultural, and sports exchange programs, as well as social-inclusion initiatives for Afro-Colombian, Indigenous, and LGBTQI+ communities.
- The United States counts as the largest international donor to the 2016 Peace Accordwith over $1 billion in foreign assistance dedicated to its implementation. USAID has invested more than $230 million to implement the Peace Accord in conflict-affected regions, including more than 500 direct activities to support Territorial Development Plans.
- S. agricultural exports to Colombia have more than doubled since the 2012 Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect, reaching $2.8 billion in 2020, and the United States now imports nearly 40 percent of all of Colombia’s agricultural exports.
- S. direct investments in Colombia total $7.8 billion and U.S. companies employ over 100,000 Colombians.
Migration Ministerial Emphasized Regional Approach to Address Irregular Migration
- On October 20, 2021, Secretary Blinken joined representatives from 17 countries throughout the region to discuss the challenges of irregular migration, a shared responsibility for securing borders, addressing the root causes of migration, and strengthening asylum and protection systems.
- Irregular migration impacts us all, and President Biden has flagged our shared responsibility to achieve safe, orderly, and humane migration management; provide stabilizing support for vulnerable host communities; increase access to international protection for those in need;and enhance other legal migration pathways.
- In June 2022, 20 nations joined the United States in adopting the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, demonstrating a shared commitment to addressing irregular migration and forced displacement. We have established long-term strategic partnerships with civil society, the private sector, governments, and international partners so that together, we can improve the conditions on the ground that continue driving irregular migration and humanely and collaboratively manage migration in and throughout the Americas.
- Colombia hosts over 2.4 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants, and successive administrations have sought to protect and stabilize both the Venezuelan and Colombian communities affected by these populations. Starting in February 2021, Colombia generously granted ten-year Temporary Protected Status to 1.8 million Venezuelans, and the Petro administration has begun developing policies to expand the support.
Countering Crime and Narcotrafficking and Supporting Lasting Peace
- The United States and Colombia continue to partner on a holistic approach to counternarcotics through efforts on comprehensive rural security, justice, and development; environmental protection; and integrated drug supply reduction.
- We recognize Colombia’s ongoing commitment to abide by its international commitments, including international drug control treaties and norms established by UN conventions.
- We support the aspiration of President Petro and the Colombian people to achieve peace in Colombia through rural security, land reform, equitable development, and environmental restoration and preservation.