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March 2010

March 14, 2010
Washington Post
On the first point, Mr. Obama has proposed a new Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian economies but has unfortunately continued to send mixed signals on three already-negotiated free-trade agreements – with South Korea, Colombia and Panama – that could boost exports immediately.
March 14, 2010
Wall Street Journal
Most Colombian goods already enter the U.S. tariff-free. The Colombian FTA would finally offer American exporters the same benefits. We'll know Mr. Obama is serious about export promotion when he devotes an entire speech to the importance of ratifying these pending trade deals and fast.
March 12, 2010
Wall Street Journal
One of the frequent arguments…for refusing to allow a vote on the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement is that Colombia hasn't done enough to enforce the rule of law. The facts on the ground say otherwise. But we now have definitive proof that on the most important legal issue—the peaceful transfer of power—Colombia is a model democracy.
March 12, 2010
Christian Science Monitor
Obama has also been reluctant to complete US approval of three pending free-trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. He's lukewarm about challenging key members of Congress and unions that oppose such market-exposing measures. And yet approval of these pacts would quickly create valuable export-related jobs for many unemployed Americans.
March 1, 2010
Frank Pearl will visit Washington DC next week

PRESS RELEASE. Embassy of Colombia. March 1st, 2010

The Embassy of Colombia announces the visit of Frank Pearl, High Commissioner pro Peace and High Counselor for Social and Economic reintegration in Colombia on March 9 and 10, 2010, to participate in conferences hosted by the Interamerican Dialogue and the Brookings Institute.

He will discuss Colombia’s peace and reconciliation effort and the accomplishments in the reintegration and reconciliation process.

High Commissioner Pearl will also hold meetings with officials from the Sate Department and the Organization of American States.

For more information please contact Muni Jensen, Press Secretary, at moj@colombiaemb.org.

For more information on the conference "Peace Building in Colombia" hosted by the Brookings Institute  and to register, please click here.

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA. Embajada de Colombia. Marzo 1, 2010

La Embajada de Colombia informa que el Sr. Frank Pearl, Alto Comisionado para la Paz y Alto Consejero para la Reintegración, visitará Washington el 9 y 10 de marzo, para participar como conferencista en paneles organizados por el Dialogo Interamericano y el Brookings Institution. El tema será el proceso de construcción de paz, desmovilización y reintegración en Colombia.

El Alto Comisionado se reunirá con funcionarios del Gobierno de Estados Unidos y con la Organización de Estados Americanos. 

Para mayor información, comunicarse con Muni Jensen, Secretaria de Prensa al correo moj@colombiaemb.org.

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March 16, 2010
Government Welcomes ILO Report that Acknowledges Colombia as Case of Progress on Labor & Trade Union

PRESS RELEASE. Embassy of Colombia. March 16th, 2010 

In its latest report on the implementation of international labor agreements, the United Nation specialized agency on labor issues expressed appreciation for the Colombian Government's commitments on labor, and acknowledged the measures that have been taken to fight violence against trade unions.

For the second consecutive year, Colombia has been acknowledged as a Case of Progress in the report by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Last year, the country was included in this category for measures regarding Convention 87. This time, the country received the acknowledgement for implementing Conventions 87, 98, and 151.

In its review, the ILO Committee of Experts found that murders of trade unionists have declined in Colombia, and described as "satisfactory" the deadline of 30 years for prosecuting the homicide of trade unionists, as established in Law 1309 of 2009, passed by Congress at the behest of the executive branch.

The report also highlighted the importance of the regulations that were adopted in Law 1210 on the declaration of strikes by trade unions. Under this reform, the Social Protection Ministry loses the power to declare strikes legal or illegal. Now, this decision falls under the regular labor law system.

By means of this new provision, Colombia aligns with the regulations and commitments adopted within the framework of international instruments, and provides Colombian trade unions with greater guarantees for exercising their labors with fairness and freedom. 

On another issue, the report highlighted the efforts by the national government to compensate the victims of violence through Decree 1290, on individual redress through official channels.

The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations is an independent body composed of legal experts, whose task is to examine how member states are applying ILO conventions and recommendations. Its annual report will be considered by the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards during its meeting in June.

See the complete report:
Spanish: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_123426.pdf
English: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_123424.pdf
French: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_123425.pdf

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Gobierno recibe con satisfacción  informe de la OIT que reconoce a Colombia como caso en progreso en materia laboral y sindical

BOLETIN DE PRENSA. Embajada de Colombia, Marzo16, 2010

El órgano de Naciones Unidas especializado en asuntos laborales valoró, en su ltimo informe de aplicación de convenios internacionales del trabajo, los compromisos del gobierno colombiano en materia laboral y reconoció las medidas que ha tomado para fortalecer la lucha contra la violencia sindical.

Colombia ha sido reconocida por segundo ao consecutivo como Caso en Progreso en el Informe de la Comisión de Expertos en Aplicación de Convenios y Recomendaciones de OIT. El ao pasado, el país fue incluido en dicha categoría por la aplicación del Convenio 87. En esta oportunidad, por la aplicación de los Convenios 87, 98 y 151.

Como resultado de su tarea de inspección en nuestro país, la Comisión de Expertos de la OIT verificó que en Colombia han disminuido los asesinatos contra sindicalistas y calificó como satisfactorio el plazo de 30 aos para las conductas punibles contra homicidios a sindicalistas que estableció la  Ley 1309 de 2009, aprobada por el Congreso de la Repblica por iniciativa del Ejecutivo.

El informe destaca tambin la importancia de las normas que se adoptaron en la Ley 1210 en materia de declaratoria de huelgas por parte de las organizaciones sindicales. A partir de esta reforma, el Ministerio de la Protección Social ya no cuenta con autoridad para declarar la legalidad o ilegalidad de las huelgas. Ahora, esta potestad le corresponde a la justicia laboral ordinaria.

A travs de esta nueva disposición, Colombia se  adeca a la normatividad y a los compromisos adoptados en el marco de los instrumentos internacionales y brinda a los sindicatos colombianos, mayores garantías para ejercer su labor con equidad y libertad. 

Desde otra perspectiva, el informe destaca los esfuerzos adelantados por el Gobierno Nacional para reparar a las víctimas de la violencia a travs del decreto 1290, de reparaciones individuales por vía administrativa.

La Comisión de Expertos en Aplicación de Convenios y Recomendaciones es un órgano independiente, constituido por juristas, cuya misión es examinar la aplicación que hacen los Estados miembros de los convenios y las recomendaciones de la OIT. Su informe anual será considerado por la Comisión de Aplicación de Normas de la OIT durante su reunión anual del mes de junio.

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