Friday, September 20, 2013

Mindanao Civil Society leaders off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the GPH-MILF Peace Talks

From the Website of MILF

Mindanao Civil Society leaders off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the GPH-MILF Peace Talks

  • Thursday, Sep 19 2013
  • Written by  Mashod Ibrahim Salik
Mindanao CSO leaders, for the second-time around, sent representatives to the 40th Round of Exploratory Talks between the Government of the Philippine (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) being held from September 10-19, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In these exploratory talks, the Civil Society of Mindanao are represented by Ms. Analiza Ugay of the  are Balay Rehabilitation Center Inc., and Mr. Mahdie Amella of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD). Both leaders representing the women and youth respectively are council members of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) are important sectors among the stakeholders of the peace process.

The delegates will primarily observe directly in the ongoing GPH-MILF peace talk to understand substantive issues that will be discussed in the meeting. Ms. Analiza Ugay said, “The information they will get from the negotiations will be disseminated to the communities to keep them informed and updated.”

The civil society in Mindanao strongly believes the significance of inclusiveness, transparency and direct participation by stakeholders in the peace talks. “The communities must be updated and involved in every stage of the talks,” said Mr. Mahdie Amella.

The last 39th Round of Exploratory talks held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last August 21-25, 2013 was attended by three CSO leaders Patricia M. Sarenas, Chair of the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks, Salic Ibrahim, Co-Chair of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) and Mary Ann M. Arnado, Secretary General of MPC and who is also a representative the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WeAct1325). 

Atty. Mary Ann M. Arnado of MPC stated that their presence and experience as observers in the last 39th Round of Exploratory Talks was indeed very insightful and substantial.

“We came in as observers in the truest sense of the word.  We were able to witness the actual negotiations from the opening, to the plenary debates and the technical working group meetings. We thank the peace panels for demonstrating transparency and inclusiveness for women and civil society participation in the talks.  Indeed their tasks are very difficult and can be very frustrating at times but we were very impressed with the determination and the commitment of the parties to bring this long overdue process to the ultimate goal to sign a comprehensive peace agreement.” she added.

Given the last stretch of the peace talks, the GPH-MILF peace panels welcomed the presence of CSO leaders in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

MILF Website