Thursday, March 8, 2012

Deles commends role of int’l community in peace process

From the Website of OPPAP

Deles commends role of int’l community in peace process

Manila, March 7 – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles on Monday lauded the significant role of the international community in advancing the peace process in the country.

“We cannot overlook the major role being played by the international community - from facilitating negotiations and contributing resources to keeping watch over the processes,” Deles told Filipino diplomats coming from various foreign posts in the Asia Pacific region during the Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) Regional Consultative Meeting (RCM) held at the DFA Main Building in Pasay.

The peace adviser commended the work being done by the international community both on the peace table as well as on the ground. She took note of the two countries which have been assisting in peace negotiations as third party facilitators – Malaysia for peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Royal Norwegian Government for negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

Deles also mentioned the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - Peace Committee for Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP), which is headed by Indonesia, as instrumental to the signing of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

The OIC-PCSP has been acting as the third-party broker in the review of the implementation of the FPA. It is composed of Malaysia, Senegal, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Somalia, Bangladesh, Brunei and Egypt.

“I have always believed that a third party monitor provides good leverage on the peace table... It is good to have somebody honest who will keep the negotiators honest. It is good to have somebody telling them to keep the table open when the two sides may decide the system is getting too difficult,” Deles explained.  
Aside from the third-party facilitators, there is also the International Contact Group (ICG) that provides assistance in confidence-building at the GPH-MILF negotiating table. The ICG’s member-states include Turkey, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia, and member-INGOs such as the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, Conciliation Resources, Muhammadiyah and The Asia Foundation.
Deles likewise cited the Malaysia-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) composed of Brunei, Libya, Japan, Norway and the European Union.

“Libya’s monitors have just been called home following the change of government, while Indonesia is set to join IMT any time now. It monitors the ceasefire, civilian protection component, rehabilitation and development, and socio-economic agreements between the government and the MILF,” Deles said.  
“On the ground, we likewise witness and feel the support extended by the international community, apart from the generous financial aid that foreign countries pour to rehabilitate roads, construct bridges and schools, and capacitate communities in Mindanao.”

Deles also provided an overview of the government’s initiatives and updates on the peace process. She also gave assurance that under the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III, “the prospect for peace is better than it has been in a very long time.”