Filipina Peacebuilders Lauded for Leadership at Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

19 June 2014 – Philippine Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, headed a 10-women peace delegation that highlighted women’s leadership role in peacebuilding in the country at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict held from June 10 to 13 in London.

Co-hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie, the Summit gathered delegates from 155 countries representing government, civil society, and international organization sectors to raise global awareness and worldwide attitudes on sexual violence in conflict by translating political commitments into practical action to prevent a culture of impunity.

Aside from Secretary Deles, the Philippine delegation was composed of the following: Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chairman of the Philippine Government Panel (GPH) to the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); Atty. Johaira Wahab, former Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC); Atty. Raissa Jajurie, former consultant of the MILF peace panel and currently BTC Commissioner; Froilyn Mendoza, founder of the Teduray Lambangian Women Organization, Inc. (TLWOI) and currently BTC Commissioner; Noraida C. Abo, Executive Director of the United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc. (UnYPhil-Women); Irene Santiago, Chair Emerita and CEO of the Mindanao Commission on Women; Carmen Lauzon Gatmaytan of the Women Engaged in Action 1325 (WE Act 1325); Fatima Pir Allian of Nisa Ul-Haqqfi Bangsamoro; and Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Director of Rappler.

During the Summit, the delegation participated in various activities and sessions that presented the Philippines as a model for strong women participation in peacebuilding.

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Prof. Ferrer served as speaker during session 2 of the Experts Day that focused on “Putting Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) into context: the women, peace and security agenda and women’s participation” held on June 11. Prof. Ferrer recommended “putting more seats and creating more spaces inside the negotiating room for women, and to nudge cautiously and graciously, while being sensitive to the cultural milieu of the ethnic groups involved, to enable all parties involved to accept the continued role of women in the negotiating process.”

On June 12, two fringe events were held in coordination with Conciliation Resources, an international peacebuilding non-governmental organization working with people in conflict to prevent violence and build peace. “Women’s innovations in Peacebuilding,” which tackled the role of local women’s organizations alongside formal negotiations saw Misses Allian, Gatmaytan, Mendoza and Abo sharing their perspectives.

Meanwhile, “Women in Peace Negotiations” saw Prof. Ferrer and Atty. Jajurie sharing their respective experiences from the opposite sides of the GPH-MILF peace negotiations while reflecting on current peacemaking practices.

Secretary Deles, on the other hand, served as speaker during the launch of the UK National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security on June 12. Whilecongratulating the UK Government for the launch of their third NAP, Secretary Deles shared the Philippines’ own experience in drafting and implementing its own NAP, which was “the first ever signed in Asia and is a product of collaboration of national government agencies and civil society, especially peace and women advocates. Shealso likened the Philippine NAP to mat weaving – “as our NAP draws from our past experiences, including lessons from conflict, and is an intricate and overlapping framework that takes into account personal passions and intergenerational intentions.”

The Secretary also delivered an intervention during Ministerial Session G: Delivering Progress through Women’s Participation also held on June 12. “We have not been timid about assigning Filipino women leadership roles on, around, and beyond the peace tables,” Secretary Deles said. Aside from emphasizing the major role played by women in the recent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Secretary Deles highlighted again the successful adoption of the Philippines’ NAP on Women, Peace and Security that promotes the capacity of women to become agents and builders of peace which goes beyond mere protection of women and other vulnerable groups from various forms of violence.

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Aside from the peace delegation, Secretary Deles also headed the official Philippine delegation to the Summit, which included Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo; Justice Undersecretary Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento; Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Maria Cleofe Gettie Sandoval, Professor Ferrer; OPAPP Assistant Secretary Rosalie Romero; First Secretary Kristine Leilani R. Salle; Department of Foreign Affairs Director Gonaranao B. Musor; and OPAPP Peace Program Officer Karen Domingo. END

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