The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Southeast Asia network convened in Melayu Patani/the Deep South of Thailand in October, 2015. Discussion focused on ongoing crises in the region such as political repression and armed struggles; the volatile peace process in Melayu Patani/the Deep South of Thailand; the changing global and regional security situation; and the role of peoples and civil society in peacebuilding. Concerns were raised regarding the increasing militarization of the entire Asia-Pacific region, exacerbated by territorial disputes, increasing military expenditure, and provocations and rising nationalisms that fuel a vicious cycle.
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GPPAC Southeast Asia Statement on Rising Militarism and the Importance of Article 9 as a Peacebuilding Mechanism in the Asia-Pacific Region
During this year’s celebration of the International Day of Peace, we, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-Southeast Asia (GPPAC-SEA), lend our voice to some of the most invisible and disenfranchised sectors in our society. There are other sectors that are equally invisible, but in light of the recent developments in the region and around the globe, we seek to highlight the plight of women, of indigenous and ethnic peoples, and the hundreds of thousands of peoples who are stateless and internally displaced.
We, the members and conveners of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict in South-East Asia (GPPAC-SEA), support the global, regional and local calls for Japan’s current government to halt its efforts at amending and reinterpreting its 1947 Peace Constitution, particularly Article 9, which deals with Japan’s security and defense. In attempting to expand Japan’s peacekeeping and mutual defense role in the region by reinterpreting Article 9, the Japanese government now hews dangerously close to discarding the peace-compass Japan has steered by over the last six decades.
The success of peace in the Bangsamoro is not just for the peoples of the Bangsamoro and the Philippines, but ours as well in region.
We are meanwhile mindful of the concerns raised by stakeholders whom we met in Cotabato and Manila during our visit with regards to inclusivity of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the delay in its submission to the Congress of the Philippines. We hope that these concerns are listened to and addressed.
Peace activists and key civil society actors from different parts of Southeast Asia are set to embark on a solidarity and peace mission to Mindanao next week as part of a “Friends of the Bangsamoro” campaign, jointly organized by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW) and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-South East Asia (GPPAC-SEA).
The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) is a Philippines-based advocacy institution promoting human security, democratization and people-to-people solidarity.
IID conducts policy advocacy and campaign programs on Burma, Mindanao, Southern Thailand, West Papua, and East Timor.