MANILA (DWDD) – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza highlighted the peacebuilding efforts of the Philippine government as he spoke before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York City.
In his message delivered during the high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, Dureza presented several initiatives being undertaken by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as proof of government’s commitment to peace.
He said these include the implementation of socio-economic development programs in conflict-affected areas through PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) and the development of a peace constituency through the People’s Peace Table.
Using the “chicken and egg” analogy, Dureza said peace and development should not come one after the other but “should come hand in hand.”
“As you all know very well, you cannot have peace – or you cannot sustain peace – if there is no development; and you cannot also sustain development unless there is peace,” he said.
The peace adviser added that development should be done through a “peace lens,” using an inclusive approach that involves the different stakeholders of conflict.
“We cannot address sustainable peace if you only attend to people who are triggers of conflict, or are involved in conflict,“ he said, emphasizing that the concerns of “the bigger table, which is the public” should also be addressed.
Dureza closed his presentation by reaffirming government’s commitment to pursuing and sustaining peace in the country. He also expressed gratitude for the UN’s role in strengthening government’s peacebuilding efforts.
“The work for peace is not an easy to road to travel. There are roadblocks. There are many ways, however, to peace. We cannot avoid roadblocks … but we have to stay in the course,” the peace adviser said.
Dureza expressed his gratitude to the United Nations and the countries that have “kept faith with our work for peace.”
“Many mechanisms for peace have been in place in the country today are being supported strongly by the UN systems and the UN agencies,” he said.
Dureza also recognized the importance of mediators who facilitate peace negotiations.
“We have noticed that when there are foreign nations supporting the peace process, it is not too easy for the rebel groups, in times of challenging situations in the process of the negotiation, (to) walk away from the table,” he said.
Aside from addressing the UN General Assembly, Dureza will also update the Filipino community on the peace process on April 26 at the Philippine Center in New York. OPAPP / MCAG