Deles lauds Norway, international community for “indispensable role” in PH peace process June 27, 2014Posted by HERBERT CURIA in GOVERNMENT, OPPAP, PEACE TALK UPDATES.
From the Website of OPPAP
Deles lauds Norway, international community for “indispensable role” in PH peace process
Oslo, Norway – “The world came to our aid in many ways—through political support, development programs, technical assistance and, most of all, nurturing the trust and confidence that drove both sides to cross the Rubicon and forge an enduring peace,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles shared during a high-level press conference held in this Scandinavian country as part of Oslo Forum 2014.
Deles was referring to the “indispensable role” of the international community that led to the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last March 27.
The role of the international community in encouraging us through a long and difficult peace process cannot be overemphasized,” Deles said. “Peace knows no borders, no political lines, no ethnic demarcations. It has been my privilege as a peace worker to witness men and women of all origins and creeds and coming from distant places gather in one place to stop a conflict, get the parties to the negotiating table, and nurture peace talks to fruition,” she added.
The Oslo Forum is an annual gathering of the world’s most influential peace process actors, analysts, experts, and decision makers. In the high-level press conference, Deles joined Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, United Nations Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, Chief of Staff and Head of Presidential Office of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Nahavadian and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Tawakkol Karman.
The peace adviser gave importance to the role of the Royal Norwegian Government for being a “faithful partner” of the Philippine peace process. Norway is currently a member of the International Monitoring Team in Mindanao which monitors the ceasefire, civilian protection, rehabilitation and development and socio-economic agreements between the government and the MILF. It has likewise accepted the invitation of the Parties to serve as a member of the Independent Decommissioning Body that will oversee the decommissioning of MILF arms and forces as part of the normalization process. At the same time, Norway has served as third party facilitator of the peace negotiations between the GPH and the Communist Part of the Philippines/ New Peoples’ Army/National Democratic Front since 2001.
“Democratic process in full bloom”
The peace adviser shared that the Philippines is now in the process of implementing the CAB.
“Before the year ends, our legislators have committed to pass a law that will bring about much needed political and socio-economic reforms under a new regional government, the “Bangsamoro.” This will be followed by a plebiscite in the areas under the scope of the law next year, ensuing a brief transition period until regional elections are held in May, 2016,” Deles said.
According to the Deles, the post-agreement scenario is a radical shift from Mindanao’s difficult history of long-drawn conflict, where “people have endured terror, death, and displacement of the most desolate kind” and can be attributed to the proactive leadership and commitment of President Benigno S. Aquino III to the pursuit of true and lasting peace in Mindanao.
She likewise noted that “for peace to have a fighting chance, we need to build sturdy institutions to support it, at the global, regional, and national levels—institutions that are represented at the Oslo Forum.”
The Oslo Forum was Deles’ last stop in her working visit to Europe, where she represented the Philippines in various events centered around the discussion of peace issues across the world.
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