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(SDN) — The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) is at the forefront of the Bangsamoro government’s linkage with the international community.
Just this past November 2021, Interior Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo has met with international leaders as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) strengthens its collaboration with the United Nations and its various agencies.
Just the other day, Minister Naguib G, Sinarimbo, head of the MILG and BARMM spokesman, spoke at the first ever Country Meeting of the UN Country Meeting in Cotabato City.
He was invited to deliver an opening message at the event.
The significance of the historic event did not escape keen observers of Bangsamoro affairs, correctly noting the meeting seems to validate Cotabato City as a component of the Bangsamoro region.
Sinarimbo said the meeting at the seat of the Bangsamoro Government was led by UN Resident Coordinator/Human Rights Coordinator Gustavo Gonzales.
Sinarimbo cited the importance of the presence of the UN, saying the BARMM will learn much from it.
Long history of UN vis-a-vis Mindanao peace process
“The UN is set to increase its presence in the region which bodes well for the region as it renews its commitment to partner with international development agencies. The global experiences of the different agencies of the UN will be a valuable input in shaping the development and humanitarian work of the Bangsamoro Government,” the MILG chief said.
Sinarimbo thanked the UN “for all their assistance even prior to the setting up of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Government and urge them to bring their global experiences in bringing about peace, development and prosperity in the region.”
He added: “I also urge them to act as One UN and to look into potential areas of partnership with the BG (Bangsamoro Government) such as poverty reduction, humanitarian assistance, integrated area development, assisting the transition of combatants and camp transformation, digital transformation and utilizing the tech savvy youth into making this leapfrog into the digital revolution as well as environmental protection, especially in the key areas of Lake Lanao, Ligawasan Marsh, and the Sulu Sea.”
It can be recalled that the UN and it’s agencies, and other international organizations have been strongly present in Mindanao particularly in the light of the decades of peace process between the Philippine Government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The international organizations have been sustaining the peace process with multitudes of programs and projects, not the least of them for the livelihood of the people in the conflict affected areas in Central Mindanao, many parts of it were battlefields pitting government troops against the Moro rebels.
The government in 1976 and 1996 struck two peace accords with the MNLF and with the MILF in 2014. Thus, ending more than four decades of strife that pit Filipinos against Filipinos in internecine fratricidal war.
Meanwhile, before his participation at the UN Country Meeting, he also had a meeting with the UN’s Gonzales.
Their meeting happened at the military headquarters in Cotabato City as Sinarimbo and the UN official jointly convened the Civil Military Cell.
The MILG minister revealed that the “UN will increase its personnel in the Bangsamoro in the coming days to better deliver its services in the region,” Sinarimbo said.
Activities of the MILG and Sinarimbo in photographs:
Observers expect the BARMM to be in touch with other members of the international community to advance its mandate for the Bangsamoro people’s benefit and wellbeing. — EKU (✓)
Featured image shows Minister Naguib G Sinarimbo and UN Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzales in a conversation.
Updated with more of Minister Sinarimbo’s opening message.