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ON THE ACSC/APF 2015 IN KUALA LUMPUR: ASEAN urged to strengthen Civil Society’s role in regional peace and human security

‘As the ASEAN heads towards developing its Post-2015 vision of a people-centered and peaceful ASEAN, key members of civil society organizations (CSO) see the crucial task for the regional bloc to strengthen the role of the CSOs in addressing the issues of regional peace and human security that continue to challenge the entire regional community.’

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A Call for Humanitarian Ceasefire in MaguindaNOW!

We, the undersigned peace advocates, peace networks and civil society groups pursuing the ALL-OUT PEACE advocacy are collectively expressing our urgent humanitarian appeal for the suspension of military operations (SOMO) undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) starting in the “SPMS box” in Maguindanao – Salibo, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak and spilled over to Guindulungan, Talayan, Datu Piang where BIFF members allegedly have retreated with Abdulbasit Usman.

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CHANGING CONTEXTS, LOCALIZED ASSYMETRY AND CULTURAL COHESION IN MINDANAO A LOCAL AND GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Thank you MISS for the invitation for me to speak at your annual convention. Am humbled and honored as seldom do civil society voices get to be heard in significant gatherings such as yours. I am thus also challenged to perhaps provide a different, perhaps some fresh perspective in the concerns and issues that you are tackling in this meeting.

The aim of your conference is to discuss the significance of Mindanao to the country and to the world. This is very apt in these challenging times.

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Staying the Course, Challenges to Peace (A Statement on the Mamasapano Tragedy)

It is with profound shock and sorrow that we view the events as yet unfolding in the surrounds of Mamasapano in Maguindanao. Our hearts bleed at the carnage wrought and the needless loss of Filipino lives brought on by a series of decisions, events, judgment calls and developments that may never be fully and publicly unraveled. We extend our deepest condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones, and bear with those now undeservedly suffering in its aftermath. We can even understand the grief, rancor and rage now simmering as a visceral response by many to these events. We are aware and empathize with these feelings and emotions to a degree. Yet despite this and to all we still say, stay the course of peace, for it remains our best recourse.

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The Imperative of Human Security in the Bangsamoro

So today, “Peace” is no longer a slogan but a living reality we can actually grasp and nurture. The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and its allied networks such as the Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW), Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM) appreciates that the process of crafting of the BBL has expanded our country’s assets for peacebuilding and created favorable conditions for genuine peace. However, IID is aware that even if Congress passes the BBL into law, it will not automatically produce Human Security.

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