Comparative Study Visit: The Philippines, 20-27 June 2015

The Democratic Progress Institute carried out a Comparative Study Visit to the Philippines from 20-27 June. The Southern Philippines peace process was explored in a series of roundtables held in Manila and Cotabato (Southern Philippines). The visit included 18 participants from Turkey, including Members of Parliament from each main political party; policy makers; renowned journalists and media personalities; senior academics and members of Turkey’s Wise Persons Commission. Participants met with key actors from the Philippines process including government actors and representatives of governmental bodies including the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process; the Governor of Bangsamoro and the Bangsamoro Transition Committee; Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader and critical actors in the process; Philippines Army military leaders; peace talks negotiators; high level journalists and media personalities reporting on the process; the International Monitoring Team and International Contact Group among others. Discussions focused on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration; constitutional and legal considerations; the role of third parties including as a guarantor of a process and in the context of decommissioning; gender considerations; the technicalities of peace negotiations. Speakers shared their first hand experiences of conflict resolution in the context of the Philippines with participants, who are continuing to disseminate learnings to each of their respective constituencies and to the wider public in Turkey. This Comparative Study Visit was hosted by the Philippines Government’s Office of the Presidential Advisor to the Peace Process and facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in the Philippines.

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