Dr. Rallonza takes part in the U.N. Expert Mission on Transnational Justice in Bogota, Colombia

February 19, 2017
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - Dr. Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza, Assistant Professor of the Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University and one of the Conveners of the Independent Working Group on Transitional Justice and Dealing with the Past (IWG TJ-DwP), was invited to participate in the United Nations (UN) Expert Mission (UNO Mission Experts) by UN Women Colombia from 06 to 10 February 2017 to contribute to the gender-informed crafting of implementing mechanisms of Colombia’s Integrated Transitional Justice System.

Dr. Rallonza (Second person from the Right) with Colombian Senate President, Mauricio Lizcano (Second person from the Left).

The Integrated Transitional Justice System is the concretization of transitional justice mechanisms, a key element in the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). It consists of the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition Experiences, Special Jurisdiction for Peace, Comprehensive Reparations for Peacebuilding, and the Unit for the Search of Persons Considered Missing in the Context of and Due to the Armed Conflict.
As part of the Experts’ Mission, Dr. Veneracion-Rallonza shared the Philippine experience on transitional justice, based on her experience as the Senior Gender Adviser to the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), as consultant to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on the drafting of the Philippine National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP WPS) 2017-2022, and  as one of the conveners of the IWG TJ-DwP. Specifically, she shared her insights on truth commissions, extra-judicial disappearances, reparations, and political participation of indigenous women, and institutional and political imperatives informed by the gender perspective.
On the request of the Colombian Ministry of Justice, the international experts from different countries were asked/tasked to draft specific gender recommendations on the Integrated Transitional Justice System. Accordingly, aside from participating in several round table discussions organized by the Ministry of Justice, the international experts met with members of the Colombian Parliament  working on the fast track of transitional justice bills to lobby their recommendations as well as with judges and magistrates of the High Courts, and high officials and advisers from the Executive Branch. They also met with international institutions, Heads of Missions (i.e. European Union, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada), representatives from the UN System, the FARC, and civil society organizations.
After the five-day Mission, the international experts presented their general recommendations to the Ministry of Justice and the UN; they also issued a communique on the immediate measure to include women in an institutional body crucial to the operationalization of a gender-informed transitional justice system.
Other members of the UN Experts’ Mission were: Laura McGrew (human rights expert; worked in the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia); Kimberly Theidon (medical anthropologist, Tufts University); Sofia Macher (former Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Peru); Margaret Shava (former Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Kenya); Shukrije Gashi (Director, Partners Kosovo); Julissa Mantilla (expert witness on sexual and gender-based violence, Inter-American Human Rights Court); and Michelle Jarvis (Deputy to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia).