FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 SEPTEMBER
Nikki Delfin, Secretariat Coordinator, email@example.com
Youth celebrate Peace and remember Martial Law Day
Groups call for a just and sustainable peace nationwide
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.
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.
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.
GenPeace calls for a peaceful, reflective and humane observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan. We show our solidarity to our Muslim brothers and sisters. We believe in unity and equality; we may be different but we are all equal in our inherent rights and dignity.
We–Muslim, Christian, Indigenous People, Filipino, Moro–members of the GenPeace Youth Network support the youth’s clamor for religious tolerance and diversity, equality and justice.
Support the non-violent resolution of the armed conflicts! Peace in MindaNOW!
Members of the National Board had assessed the activities in accordance to their alignment with GenPeace core thrusts. The members had closely examined the work of GenPeace and said that the projects had triumphantly inculcated the value of peace consciousness especially among the youth. They recognized the network’s efforts to initiate Peace Education programs among localities particularly in the South. More so, they have said that through the different activities and projects of the network, the youth became more deeply involved in the activities concerning peace. They also applauded the region-wide connections established by the network linking all youths from different regions to work for the cause of peace. They have also stated that due to the engagement of GenPeace programs in their localities, the programs of their organizations had been more peace – focused and the youth were more empowered and their passion for peace was reawakened.
Asian Institute of Management, Makati City–Selected members of GenPeace took part in a historic skype dialogue with Louis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma, prominent leaders of the National Democratic Front. During the skype meeting last March 2, 2012, the youth’s calls during the GenPeace General Assembly were highlighted by the GenPeace representatives. Mirma Tica, Gerald Eustaquio and Kaye Limpiado presented the youth’s calls for: 1) Easter Peace Talks, 2) Protect the Environment; and 3) End Impunity. (click here for the GenPeace Statement for the GPH-NDF Talks)
Jalandoni welcomed the youth’s calls particularly on the protection of the environment and the ending of the climate of impunity in the country. Regarding the call for peace talks to resume, he said that the NDF also aspires for a just and lasting peace in the country. He further encouraged the youth to advocate for peace to the President and even the security sector.
The GenPeace representatives were invited by the peace civil society community under Waging Peace Philippines and through Prof. Ed Garcia of the International Alert. Some of the other dialogue participants were Karen Tanada of GZO Peace Institute, Sr. Ma. Arnold Noel and Joeven Reyes of Sulong CARHRIHL, former Senator Bobby Tanada, and Gus Miclat from the Initiatives for International Dialogue.
GENERATION PEACE: 2012 RESOLVE
Generation Peace, meeting in general assembly on the eve of the 26th anniversary of the 1986 People’s Power, resolves to redouble our efforts to pursue peace in diverse parts of the country. We will do our part in galvanizing youth voices in urban and rural areas, in schools and in streets, in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We will network with other sectors, in particular, with our teachers, with women, indigenous peoples, and with religious, business, political and community leaders.
We call on the leaders and the negotiating panels of the Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume peace talks in the period of Easter – the season of resurrection and re-awakening. To do so, we urge the following:
- 1. Undertake Easter Releases of Selected Detainees Relevant to the Negotiations!
- 2. Protect the Environment Now. Do so More Vigorously!
- 3. End Impunity!
We call on both sides to do so for the sake of future generations. We cannot wait any longer. These talks have been protracted enough, and we want to eliminate more victims of a war without end. We ask both sides to do what it takes to overcome obstacles. During the period of talks we call on both parties to suspend offensive military operations to create a climate more conducive to restore trust and the construction of a more peaceful future.
From Generation Peace General Assembly,
Successor Generation of Peace Advocates
February 24, 2012
Members of the Generation Peace General Assembly
University of Eastern Philippines Communication Association
FEU ACP3 Peace Tayo
Center for Peace Education Miriam College
Pax Christi Miriam College
Balay Rehabilitation Center
United Youth for Peace and Development
Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute
UNESCO Young Professionals Club
United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines
Sobusteha Youth Association
Akbayan Youth –Davao
Peace Advocates Zamboanga
SINAG Political Organization
Student Commission on Election, De La Salle University Dasmarinas
CARAGA Youth Leaders Network
Teduray Lambangian Youth and Students Association
Tirmizy E. Abdullah
Edito T. Ebol Jr.
Josiluther B. Nacario
Gerald Matthew E. Eustaquio
Brenfred N. Romero
Hazeline M. Panganiban
Nina Sarah D. Francisco
Xyren Moren Magbuhos
Marc Zeus Chee
Mary Angeli Bataycan
Rechie J. Tugawin
Allen John Lira
Victoria Kathleen Mae
Maria Theresa Angelica Bustria
Kristel Georgia Mendoza
Youth Solidarity For Peace.
Quezon City–The Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) recently concluded its 3rd National General Assembly with the theme “Successor Generation: Re-imagine the Work for Peace.” The assembly was held at the Ateneo de Manila University from February 23-25 and identified the network’s thematic priorities for 2012-2013.
Aside from discussing the network’s priorities, the gathering also discussed strategies to strengthen the network’s member organizations and expansion plans. Apart from the main mandate of the network in supporting political negotiations between the Government and the CPP NPA NDF and the Government and MILF, it also explores its role in promoting a culture of peace in the country. The assembly also elected its new set of officers for the national board (2012-2013).
Topics during the assembly range from updates on the peace processes, mediation and negotiation as essential peacebuilding skills, to envisioning peace. Prof. Ed Garcia of International Alert noted that “The Philippine peace negotiations are the world’s most protracted negotiations” with very limited milestones and as such require re-imagination from the part of youth peace advocates. ###
GenPeace is a national youth network engaged in a youth-led advocacy towards a just and sustainable peace in the Philippines. It is a coming together of 40+ youth organizations and networks all over the country that support political settlements in resolving armed conflicts.
ONE MILLION VOICES FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN GAINS INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
AMID CHALLENGES TO THE PEACE PROCESS
The campaign to gather considerable citizen support to the peace talks between the Goverment of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has gained added momentum with the endorsement of the campaign by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).
The public opinion backlash to the recent encounter in Albarka, Basilan and the continuing impasse over the implementation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) emphasize the need to mobilize citizen support for dialogue and consensus building.
The One Million Voices for Peace in the Philippines Campaign aims to gather the support of people from all over the Philippines and the rest of world, to signify their desire for an end to the conflict in the country and present these to the conflict actors to press them to work for a peaceful, just and comprehensive political settlement to the armed conflicts in the Philippines.
GPPAC is a global movement that seeks to leverage civil society initiatives and press governments and rebel movements to utilize dialogue as the more sustainable mode of resolving the roots of armed conflicts. It works to strengthen civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action. It engages with governments, the UN system and regional organizations to create policies and programs that promote peace building. More GPPAC information is available at: www.gppac.net
Among the personalities who have signified support to the peace campaign are:
Chair of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and Executive Director of the West Africa Network on Peacebuilding (WANEP)
Prof. Andres Serbin
Chair of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
Chair of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, USA
Peter Van Tuil
Executive Director, GPPAC Foundation
3P Human Security, USA
Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
Non-Violence International, Russia
Lia van Broekhoven
Co-Director, Reflecting on Peace Practice Project, CDA, USA
Bibi van Ginkel
Fellow, International Centre for Counter Terrorism, Netherlands
3P Human Security, USA
Consultant, Human Security Unit, UN
Analyst, Conflict Prevention and Recovery Team, UN
A website for the One Million Voices for Peace allows for the “voices” to be expressed in a variety of ways: including your name and email on the form provided, subscribing to the OMV4P YouTube channel, “likes” from Facebook accounts, and following the campaign on Twitter. Please visit the One Million Voices for Peace in Mindanao website, and add your name to the “voices” calling for peace in Mindanao.