MANILA, Philippines – From June 10 to 13, representatives from over 120 countries and over 1,000 experts, faith leaders, youth, international organizations and representatives from civil society came together for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict 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 tackled issues about sexual violence in conflict – to raise awareness and influence the worldwide attitude toward the issue. This resulted in political commitments to practical action aimed at preventing a culture of impunity.
FULL SUPPORT. Brad and Angelina drop by the Fringe to show their A-list support. All photos courtesy of Jill Bacasmas.
The Philippines was represented by a peace delegation headed by Philippine Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles. The 10-women peace delegation highlighted Filipino women’s leadership role in peace building.
Aside from Deles, the Philippine peace delegation was composed of: Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chairman of the Philippine Government Panel (GPH) to the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); Atty. Raissa Jajurie, former consultant of the MILF peace panel and currently BTC Commissioner; Atty. Johaira Wahab, former Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC); 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.
ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS. Jill Bacasmas (right) and Reinna Bermudez (left) at the ESVI Summit Fringe.
Deles also headed the official Philippine delegation to the summit, which included the 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.
Filipino women and the Philippine’s peace process
During the Summit, the delegation participated in various activities and sessions that presented the Philippines as a model for strong women participation in peace building. They brought with them positive news of what had already been achieved in the country in line with how women helped in the nation’s peace process. (READ: Women play key role in PH peace process)
Deles also served as speaker during the launch of the UK National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security on June 12. In her speech, she stressed that women’s participation in decision-making, leadership and peace building is imperative.
While congratulating the UK Government for the launch of their third NAP, 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.” She emphasized that it promotes the capacity of women to become agents and builders of peace, going beyond mere protection of women and other vulnerable groups from various forms of violence.
She also delivered an intervention during Ministerial Session G: Delivering Progress through Women’s Participation, which was also held on June 12. “We have not been timid about assigning Filipino women leadership roles on, around, and beyond the peace tables,” Deles said. She also emphasized the major role of women in the recent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
THE SUMMIT. Jill Bacasmas and Reinna Bermudez take part in the mock trial of UNSCR 1325 with Sec. Deles and Prof. Ferrer.
Two fringe events also took place on June 12 in coordination with Conciliation Resources, an international peace building non-governmental organization working with people in conflict to prevent violence and build peace. “Women’s innovations in Peace building” tackled the role of local women’s organizations alongside formal negotiations. Delegates Allian, Gatmaytan, Mendoza and Abo shared their perspectives.
Support from the British and Australian embassies
The British and Australian embassies were proud to co-sponsor the peace delegation. Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, co-chaired a session on the role of women negotiators in peace processes. Involving the Philippines delegation and representatives from Colombia, the session explored the experience of women who have been involved in negotiating peace, including those on the peace panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and those representing the Government of the Philippines. – Rappler.com
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