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Ministerial Intervention by Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict June 13, 2014

Posted by HERBERT CURIA in GOVERNMENT, OPPAP.
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From the Website of OPPAP
links:  http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/speech-sec-teresita-quintos-deles-during-international-conference-cotabato

 

 

Ministerial Intervention by Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Posted on Friday, Jun 13th, 2014

GLOBAL SUMMIT TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT
Ministerial Session G: Delivering Progress Through Women’s Participation
Ministerial Intervention by Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process – Philippines
12 June 2014 (London)

 

From the “comfort women” of Asia in World War II to today’s missing schoolchildren, kidnapped in Nigeria, conflict has taken on new forms and meanings, sometimes with motives that are beyond comprehension.

History has not been remiss in reminding us about the scars and wounds of war and conflict deeply etched in humanity’s soul.  And while much of the conflicts are caused by guns fired by men, the trail of blood always leads to a grieving woman’s doorstep and a weeping child’s nightmare.

It has always been up to the women to dress the wounds of war.  Indeed, the time has come for all governments to make sure that women are given a greater role in preventing armed conflict or, once it has broken out, in resolving it.

In the Philippines, we are now doing our best to accomplish both under the remarkable leadership of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, son of democracy’s icon, former president Corazon C. Aquino.

And we have made great strides.

Filipino women have been breaking ground, taking on active roles and succeeding as negotiators, mediators, peacekeepers, peace builders, relief workers, trauma healers – the list goes on.

Last March 27, the Philippine government signed a comprehensive peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or the MILF, thus ending a conflict that has spanned more than four decades and claimed and displaced more than a hundred thousand lives in southern Philippines.

The signed “Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” expressly upholds the right of women to “meaningful political participation and protection from all forms of violence.” It also upholds the “right to equal opportunity and non-discrimination in social and economic activity and public service” regardless of gender.

Would such provisions – and there are others, particularly on wealth-sharing and normalizatiin – have been included had women not been a part of the negotiations?  A male negotiator admitted that, without women on both sides of the peace table, these provisions would not have been discussed at all.

Honorable colleagues, the recently signed, historic Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro is the first of its kind in the world to bear the signature of a total of three women, which accounts for one-half of the 6-person negotiating team of the Government, and about one-fourth of the total number of signatories.  It is the first such agreement to bear the signature of a woman as Chief Negotiator, my fellow delegate, Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

Another woman member, Bai Yasmin Busran-Lao, now Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.   As well, women of competence and integrity chaired three out of four of the government’s technical working groups as well as continue to lead its Secretariat and the legal team, respectively.

Clearly, we have not been timid about assigning Filipino women leadership roles on, around, and beyond the peace tables.

This boldness has not come about by accident.  A well-organized and dynamic women’s sector has kept government on its toes, and women like us in government rely on them for continuing moral and even technical support.  It is the women who never gave and will never give up.

In 2010, the Philippine government adopted its National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, making the Philippines the first country in Asia to adopt a policy that makes operational its commitment to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, 1820, and 1888.   The Philipoine NAP is anchored on and provided legal basis in Philippine law and its inter-agency and multi-level governance implementation is being pursued under the careful watch of a Cabinet-level steering committee.

To my fellow ministers and peace-builders, I say, if the Philippines can harness the power of women to advance the cause of peace, then so can so many more of our governments.

We must, by design and not by default, build national, regional, and global peace leadership and architecture that count women in and make women count.

Thank you and good day.

 

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