PASIG CITY—International peace and development partners expressed strong support and optimism on the peace and development roadmap of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, even applauding the remarkable performance of his administration to resolve peace and security issues during his first month in office.
“We are very impressed with the work that OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) has done in just a short time,” said World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick on behalf of the other international organizations and institutions present during OPAPP’s briefing on government’s peace agenda held Thursday, August 4, in Edsa Shangri-la Hotel.
“It is very welcome to the international community the aspirations of the Duterte administration to resolve the issues in Mindanao and the other areas of the country and to the level of priority that he has given on these issues even in the first month of his administration,” Warwick added.
Warwick also backed the government’s call for inclusivity in its pursuit of peace, as they also “look forward to the OPAPP convening us and harmonizing our efforts and strategies to ensure a more effective delivery of service to the communities in conflict affected areas.”
United Nations Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren, meanwhile, noted that the “work that is already on the way since the 30th of June constitutes a very promising reboot and continuation of ongoing efforts to resolve the conflicts”.
“Going here, I have a lot of questions, especially with regard the many mechanisms already in place wherein international agencies play active roles. But those questions have been answered.”
“We appreciate the openness of President Duterte, as said in his SONA (State of the Nation Address), to continue working with international partners,” Almgren said. “I look forward to a continuing engagement with the people of the Philippines.”
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza, for his part, recognized the previous efforts of the international partners in the peace process and asked them to continue supporting the government’s peace efforts.
“That is why I am very grateful to your initial enthusiasm and I hope we can sustain this. We look forward to our continued partnership, especially those who we have not engaged very much in the past. We want you back as strong partners for peace,” he added.
Aside from the United Nations and the World Bank, other international agencies and institutions represented during the meeting include: Agencia Española De Cooperacion Internacional Para El Desarollo (AECID); Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD); Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australia (DFAT-AUS); Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit Gmbh (GIZ); European Union (EU); French Development Agency (FDA); Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); International Alert (IA); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); The Asia Foundation (TAF); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); International Organization for Migration (IOM); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN); World Food Programme (WFP); and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). ##