Manila: The Philippines has hailed a UN Security Council resolution recognising women’s role in the peace process, saying that the measure raised the status of women from “victims” of conflict to agents of amity.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said United Nations Security Council’s adoption of Resolution (UNSCR) 2122, is a historic motion because it recognises the increasingly important role of women in the peace process.
“The Philippine government welcomes and supports the adoption of Resolution 2122, which highlights the role of women as pivotal actors and allows for their greater participation in the peace process,” Quintos-Deles said.
Deles described the UN resolution as “a welcome challenge for women peace advocates in the country as we continue to push the envelope of women’s political and social participation forward.”
Deles had recently led women peace advocates in the launch on the implementation of the Philippines’ National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security.
“The NAP is the government’s policy to operationalise its commitment to the UNSCRs 1325, 1820 and 1888, three landmark international normative standards on women, peace and security. UNSCR 1325 specifically acknowledges women’s capacity to make decisions on women, peace and security issues while UNSCR 1820 recognises sexual violence as a tactic of war and a possible war crime. On the other hand, UNSCR 1888 aims to establish leadership, deploy expertise, and improve coordination among stakeholders involved in addressing conflict-related sexual violence,” she said.
Quintos-Deles likewise highlighted the efforts and achievements of the Philippine government in enhancing women’s participation in the peace process.
She said that the Philippines is not only “the first country in Asia to adopt a NAP, the Philippines also stands apart in the number of women directly involved in the peace negotiations. This is in stark contrast to other peace negotiating teams around the world where women remain under-represented.”
Quintos-Deles, as well as other women members of the government peace panel, particularly, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, play key roles in efforts by the government to make peace with former anti-government forces. She is President Benigno Aquino III’s chief adviser on peace, a responsibility that the had also served during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Coronel-Ferrer is government panel peace adviser in negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“We have been breaking ground in the changes we are trying to put forward,” stressed Deles. She expressed that the government’s commitment is made manifest in the important roles taken up by women in the peace negotiations.
Coronel-Ferrer is joined in the peace negotiating table in talks with the MILF by Undersecretary Yasmin Busran-Lao. The Technical Working Groups on Normalisation and Wealth-sharing, the GPH Secretariat, and the GPH Legal Team are also headed by and mostly composed of women.
Two women, Jurgette Honculada and Maria Lourdes Tison also sit at the peace negotiating table for talks with communist rebels, added Deles.