Friday, October 3, 2014

Switzerland Chairs CAB”s "Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission”

From the Website of MILF

Switzerland Chairs CAB”s "Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission”

In a press release issued by the Embassy of Switzerland in Manila, it says:
During their meeting on the implementation of the “Normalization Annex” to the CAB held in Kuala Lumpur from 27 to 29 September 2014, the panel chairs of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) announced the establishment of the “Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

The Commission will be headed by Mô Bleeker, Special Envoy of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Head of the “Task Force for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities”. Having accepted the invitation of the two parties to chair the TJRC, Switzerland is fully involved in the peace process.

The CAB signed between the two parties on 27 March 2014 and facilitated by Malaysia provides among others a number of mechanisms within the framework of the "normalization process". One of these mechanisms is the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). Having been invited by both panels to take on the chairmanship of this commission, the Swiss government nominated Mô Bleeker for this function. The TJRC’s two other commission members are Mrs. Cecilia Jimenez Damary, representing the Philippine Government, and Atty. Ishak Mastura, Representative of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Mr. Jonathan Sisson from the FDFA serves as special adviser to the commission.

As an independent commission established by the “Normalization Annex” to the CAB, the TJRC is tasked to "undertake a study and recommend to the Panels the appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, correct historical injustices, and address human rights violations and marginalization through land dispossession, towards healing and reconciliation. The TJRC shall also recommend programs and measures that will bring about the reconciliation of the different communities that have been affected by the conflict." The Commission is given one year to submit its report to the two panel chairs.

The TJRC will travel to Cotabato on October 4 to launch the first official public meeting, which is followed by a launch on October 11 in Manila. The Commission is supported by a small secretariat in the execution of its functions.

The “Task Force for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities” is an entity created by the FDFA in 2011. It combines several of the FDFA’s organizational entities, such as the Human Security Division, United Nations and International Organizations Division, the Directorate of International Law, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The Task Force promotes a Swiss designed approach to the fight against impunity and the prevention of atrocities both at the multilateral and bilateral level. As in the case of the TJRC, the Task Force is frequently approached to offer its expertise.

MILF Website

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