San Salvador.— On December 30, 2016, speaking in the context of the 25th anniversary of the country’s Peace Agreements, Salvadoran President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, stressed the need for dialogue between all political sectors to solve the nation’s main problems.
Sánchez Cerén, one of the signatories of the pact, is leading a process of rapprochement to build a new generation of agreements, in order to guarantee the well-being of the Salvadoran people.
On January 16, 1992, government representatives, headed by then President Alfredo Cristiani (1989-1994), and the historic leader of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN), the late Schafik Handal, signed the momentous agreements in Mexico City's Chapultepec Fortress.
With the accords, which became a global reference for conflict resolution through dialogue and negotiation, both parties put an end to 12 years of war.
The final document includes stipulations regarding the restructuring of the Armed Forces, the creation of the National Civil Police, reforms to the judicial system, human rights legislation, the electoral system, and the adoption of socio-economic measures.
During his speech delivered at the signing ceremony in Mexico, Schafik Handal, a member of the FMLN’s General Command and head of its Negotiating Committee, highlighted that the signing of the accords marked the end of a decisive stage in Salvadoran people’s long and heroic struggle.
“The most important element of this achievement is the end of military hegemony over the civil nation, the end of a very long period during which the liberal ideals of the Founding Fathers of our independence were stifled, to benefit an affluent minority, sustained by force, which became numb to the cries of the working and poor people,” he highlighted.
The agreement also helped to dismantle the structures of the military dictatorships and stimulated a process to strengthen institutions and democracy in El Salvador, stated FMLN Secretary General Medardo González.
Nonetheless, the political leader also noted that the Agreements “were not enough to achieve full justice for the destitute, the hungry, the poor of the country.”
In his opinion there were no economic transformations or an improvement in the distribution of the country’s wealth, the goal that was, and continued to be, pursued by the FMLN during those years of war.
The FMLN became a political party following the signing of the agreements and is today the chief political force in the country. It has led the nation for two consecutive terms, is working to transform El Salvador’s reality, eradicate the causes which led to armed conflict and destroy the neoliberal model which only brought greater poverty to the people.
This year the United Nations, which played an important role in the peace process, is undertaking various campaigns, organizing workshops and a concert to celebrate 25 years of the Agreements.
What is more, the organization has longstanding links with the country and its peace process, facilitating negotiations and acting as guarantor of the Accords, while today it continues to support dialogue among all sectors of society. Whether physically based in the country or not, the 24 UN agencies, funds and programs working in El Salvador offer technical and financial cooperation toward finding concrete, practical and viable solutions to the nations major problems.
Such cooperation efforts are carried out in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals with an emphasis on the poorest and most marginalized sectors of society.