Press Release: Peace Day 2012

PDF VERSION 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 SEPTEMBER

contact:

Nikki Delfin, Secretariat Coordinator, 09178946454/generationpeacenetwork@gmail.com

Youth celebrate Peace and remember Martial Law Day

Groups call for a just and sustainable peace nationwide

 

GenPeace leads the annual International Day of Peace activities for the youth in the Philippines since 2007. Photo taken from Peace Day 2011, Quezon City.

Quezon City, Philippines– Youth groups hold simultaneous peace initiatives nationwide on September 21. The date is infamously known as the declaration of PD 1081 or the Declaration of Martial Law but some commemorate it differently. September 21 is also the International Day of Peace, which is signed unanimously by the UN General Assembly.

“The youth can be apathetic but also active agents of social change and its time to bridge the gap. Many are unaware of the armed conflict and the International Day of Peace which is a day of peace, ceasefire and nonviolence,” said Mirma Mae Tica, the national spokesperson of GenPeace.

Armed conflict persist in the Philippines and remain an important issue. Consider the following:

–          The Philippines experience the most protracted armed conflict and most protracted peace negotiations in this part of the world.

–          The country’s armed conflicts continues after over 40 years

–          In 2008 the country held the world record for most internally-displaced persons at 600,000. That year there were more internal war refugees in the Philippines than in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

–          This year, the world is attempting the largest reduction of armed violence on September 21. Throughout the world, groups are calling governments and armed groups for a day of truce from armed violence.

–          The government is pursuing peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and a framework peace agreement is expected within the Aquino administration

–          The National Democratic Front peace negotiations are stalled due to issues such as Safety and Immunity Guarantees for rebel leaders.

“We remember Martial Law, and the human rights and humanitarian abuses during the Marcos administration. Our theme ‘just and sustainable peace for our future’ is our way to pay it forward. We are making it national and the time for peace is now.” Tica said.

This photo is taken during the exodus of ‘bakwit’ that followed the 2002 all-out war armed skirmishes between the government and the MILF. photo copyrighted to PhilANCA and Gil Nartea

 In Quezon City, Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) leads students and youth organizations, women, indigenous peoples, local government and religious groups in peace rituals and an advocacy fair. Simultaneous peace day events also take place in Butuan, Surigao City, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Zamboanga, and Catarman. Activites range from candlelit vigil, art competitions, ceasefire petitions, a photo exhibit, a feeding program, peace rituals and forums. The youth organization also partners with local governments for localized peace resolutions and ordinances.

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GenPeace is a national youth network that supports the peace negotiations through peace advocacy, education and empowerment programs. We supercharge youth organizations to become active for peaceful social change. Learn more about what we do at http://genpeace.tk/

We are part of local, national and global networks on peacebuilding: United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Global Youth Movement for an Alliance of Civilizations, Youth Solidarity Fund Winner — UN Alliance of Civilizations, Mindanao Solidarity Network, Waging Peace Philippines, Kilos para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan, GPPAC-SEA.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in Events and Youth Network Activities, Publications, Resource Center and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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