PH peace process takes center stage at UNAOC Global Forum

NEW YORK CITY – The Philippine approach in preventing conflict and sustaining peace took the spotlight in the international community during the 8th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) held recently.

The country’s delegation, led by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza, shared the different government interventions that contributed to the advancement of just and lasting peace in the country.

In his message, Dureza presented the importance of addressing the triggers of conflict, promoting development in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas, and maintaining a culture of peace in the communities through inclusivity and social healing.

“We must address the root causes of conflict if we aspire and work for durable and sustainable peace,” he said.

Dureza said this was one of the lessons learned when extremists laid siege to the Islamic City of Marawi for five months in 2017.

“Violent extremism was partly triggered by young Islamists who turned despondent for perceived non-implementation and/or delay in the peace process, endemic poverty, feeling of exclusion, and the extremist read of the Quran,” he said.

Dureza added that there should be a convergence of peace and development to ensure the improvement of the lives of those in areas affected by conflict.

“We cannot sustain peace unless there is development where people’s lives improve. Conversely, we cannot sustain development unless there is peace,” he said

“Development projects in vulnerable communities must be implemented with the so-called ‘peace lens’ so as to avoid more triggers of un-peace,” he added.

Secretary Dureza also acknowledged that there should be dialogue with the “bigger peace table” of the general public to further mainstream the promotion of culture of peace in the country.

“Government cannot do things (alone). The women, the youth, and civil society from those localities and areas are more knowledgeable and versatile in dealing with local situations,” he said.

Attending the 8th UNAOC Global Forum with Dureza are Undersecretaries DiositaAndot and Ronald Flores, and Head Executive Assistant OiboneEnobio who participated in the breakout sessions during the forum.

Andot attended the breakout session on Strengthening the Leadership, Inclusion and Visibility of Women in Sustaining Peace Processes” and “Global Citizenship Education.”

Flores, on the other hand, took part in the sessions “Partnerships that Work: Leveraging the Private Sector and Civil Society in Peacebuilding Efforts” and “Many Cultures, One Humanity: The Role and Responsibility of Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Organizations in Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies.”

Enobio participated in the youth event of the UNAOC forum.

With the theme “Commit2Dialogue: Partnerships for Prevention and Sustaining Peace,” this year’s global forum serves as a platform for the UNAOC Group of Friends, UN system entities, civil society (including NGOs, faith-based organizations, media, and the private sector) to share best practices on ways to promote dialogue and understanding with partnerships that work. (OPAPP PR)