Seize the Moment, Harness UN’s Experience and Knowledge, Resident Representative Gonzáles Urges BARMM

Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs

“This experience, this knowledge, is at your disposal. So I strongly encourage you to seize this opportunity and make the most of what the UN can offer.”

— UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzáles


UN urges BARMM to seize opportunity.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzáles. (Image: BARMM)

Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs

By EDD K. USMAN

(SDN) — International organizations as well as various countries have supported the Mindanao peace process between the Philippine government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

This support started coming with the peace negotiations that pitted the GPH and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as early as the mid-1970s. It continued with the MILF’s search for peace starting in 1997.

Several decades after the initial support, some of the international organizations have remained supportive. Not to mention some countries who wish to see peace, stability, and economic development in Southern Philippines.

One of the constant supporters is none other than the United Nations, which prides itself of its wealth of “experience and knowledge” it gained from hundreds of peace processes.

UN official conveys commitment to BARMM’s success

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzáles with his delegation paid a visited to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on February 17, 2021. His coming followed the second anniversary celebration of the Bangsamoro region in January this year.

He was feted at the Bangsamoro Parliament housed at the BARMM Complex in Cotabato City, one of the component areas of the autonomous region. Gonzales spoke of the world organization’s constancy of support for BARMM’s transition period.

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“This experience, this knowledge, is at your disposal. So I strongly encourage you to seize this opportunity and make the most of what the UN can offer,” Gonzáles said as he strongly encouraged the region.

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Led by Interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim, the BARMM’s governing Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has a lifespan of three years beginning in 2019; it expires in 2022 to give way to the regional autonomy’s first elections. President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed Ebrahim and the 78 BARMM officials last year.

UN urges BARMM to seize opportunity.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzáles (3rd, right) is joined by BARMM Parliament officials. (Image: BARMM)

Gonzáles in the speech he delivered at the Parliament’s Session No. 52 relayed the UN’s commitment to the transition’s success. His speech was on behalf of UN Secretary General António Gutérres.

BARMM’s Parliament and Ebrahim, chairman of the MILF, are seeking an extension of the three-year transition for another three years until 2025. Their clamor have been receiving support from various quarters, with the President its biggest supporter.

Gonzáles cites Bangsamoro’s “moral governance”

The Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC) fired the first shot for the transition period’s extension after its rapid review of the transition process, as the MPC recommended three more years, especially that the breakout of the global coronavirus pandemic has affected the BARMM’s performance.

Gonzáles also conveyed the secretary general’s congratulatory message to the leadership of the BARMM on its foundation anniversary last month and its achievements.

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“You have now two years, plenty of challenges but with very concrete achievement. The Secretary General of is proud of engaging the UN in this process. Significant achievements have been accomplished since the establishment of BARMM, including the forming of the transitional government and Parliament, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in institutionalizing moral governance under the leadership of Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim,” Gonzáles said.

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The UN’s official in the Philippines cited the “need to join our efforts, work together and build coalitions.”

“This is the moment where the close work between BARMM and UN is fundamental. Today, with all the challenges that we have hit and with the support of the UN, I believe that we can be part of this transformation of the history of the Philippines,” he emphasized.

In 2013, it can be the UN and the World Bank extended US$7 million worth of technical assistance to help ensure the GPH-MILF peace process. The funding’s other goal was also to facilitate a new Bangsamoro political entity (which turned to be the BARMM) aimed at replacing the unlamented ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). (/)

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