Thursday, August 2, 2012

Deles named PH role model for peace by int'l award body

From the Website of the OPPAP

Deles named PH role model for peace by int'l award body

Manila, Aug. 2 – Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles was recently named as the Philippine’s “Role Model for Peace” by the Asia-based N-Peace Network, a multi-country network that supports the role of women in building and restoring peace.

From the four nominees in the country, Deles, who spearheads the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), obtained the highest online votes via the N-Peace Network’s website. Other nominees included former OPAPP head Anabelle Abaya, Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus Secretary General Mary Ann Arnado and Coalition of Mindanao Indigenous Peoples for Peace and Advocacy coordinator Beatriz Colmo.

Other women role models for peace were likewise named from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Afghanistan. Overall, 100 women in all six countries were nominated for the international award.

Now on its second year, the N-Peace Awards aim to “recognize the untiring efforts of women across its network countries, who have demonstrated capacity and experience in the field of conflict resolution and prevention and peace building.”

The online voting, which began in March and ended last July, served as a platform to identify and showcase the work of peace builders and women leaders in Asia. It also became a way to reach out and engage others in the peace campaign by way of sharing the stories of nominees through a social media platform.

A documentary on the awardees will be produced and shared online to highlight their work in preventing, resolving, and helping their country recover from the armed conflict.

Also receiving the award as role models for peace this year in their respective countries are Radha Paudel of Nepal; Rupika Damayanthi De Silva of Sri Lanka; Mana Lou of Timor-Leste; Suraiya Kamaruzzama of Indonesia; and a tie for Afghanistan that includes Farkhunda Zahra Naderi and Quhramaana Kakar.
Woman peace champion

Currently the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Deles was the first woman to be appointed to head the government agency which is mandated to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. It is a position she also held from 2003 to 2005 during the first term of the previous administration.

Under her leadership, the Philippines became the first country in Asia-Pacific to adopt a National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security). Prior to being a peace adviser, she was actively involved in civil society and grassroots organizations that advance women’s rights, peace, and poverty alleviation.

Way back, she has been a student activist for human rights at the time of the First Quarter Storm.

Further, Deles made significant contributions in civil society and spearheaded non-government organizations. She is among the founders of PILIPINA, recognized as the first women’s organization in the country to espouse a “homegrown feminist” line.  She also helped form the Social Development Index, Coalition for Peace and Asian Women's Research and Action Network. Since the founding of the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute in 1991 until 2001, she served as its executive director. Afterwards, she was appointed as the secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission. In 2006, after her first stint as peace adviser, Deles co-founded the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov) where she served as managing trustee and focal trustee for peace and security sector governance issues.

Recognized for her accomplishments and contributions in various areas of leadership and governance, Deles was among the 1,000 women nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize; a recipient of the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Award for Peace Advocacy and Conflict Resolution; and The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award. In 2011, she received the Metrobank Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance Award.

At present, she continues to be deeply involved in peace work as she leads OPAPP. Since the start of the year, Deles conveyed firmness to continue to toil in the search for peace. “The bottom line is that ending all internal armed conflicts in the country will not be easy, but it is something that we will not let go."

“The daily toil and toll of keeping and making peace can challenge even the most persevering among us.  It’s not an easy job to keep the parties to a conflict to be consistently committed to dialogue, and to keep reminding them until you are red in the face that there are other ways of resolving issues than just by force of arms. It is not easy, but we persevere, because our people cannot afford to suffer again and anymore.” #