Presidential Peace Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza takes leave on Saturday from the ongoing peace negotiations by the government with communist insurgents to attend two United Nations (UN) forums where he will herald the Philippines’ efforts in forging peace agreements with the leftist National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“I will present to (the UN) the model for the Philippine peace process,” Dureza told mediamen, as he announced that he will be leaving for New York Saturday to attend two meetings in the international agency on best practices in peace processes on Sunday and Monday.

He will return in Rome, Italy on Wednesday, in time for the closing of the third round of the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) panels at the Holiday Inn Rome – Eur Parco dei Medici.

According to Dureza, the ongoing peace negotiations of the Philippines with communist insurgents and Muslim rebels have gained international distinction, together with the Colombia’s own peace efforts with FARC rebels.

“These are the two models on peace work. So I will present the Philippine peace process,” he said.

Dureza said the invitation to the UN forums only underscored that the Philippines was “already in the radar screen of the world in terms of moving forward with peace.”

On Sunday, Dureza will attend the Third Symposium on “The Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs,” which carries the theme, “Just, Inclusive and Sustainable Peace” at the UN Headquarters.

The next day, he will be engaged in a high level dialogue that was organized by UN President of the General Assembly Peter Thompson titled “Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace,” also at the UN.

“We’re honored and I cannot miss the opportunity when they sent the invitation. So with the permission of the panels, I have to take leave,” he explained.

Dureza’s temporary leave will not likely derail the ongoing talks here as the GRP and NDF are expected to sign the supplemental guidelines for the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) that will monitor the “implementation and achieving of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) on Saturday morning.

The guidelines constitute another concrete step towards the signing of a joint, bilateral ceasefire by both parties at the end of the third round.

Dureza said he will also be having a separate briefing for the the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regarding a multi-donor trust fund that is being set up in Mindanao as part of the government’s peace efforts with the MILF.

He bared that he will be taking the opportunity to ask donor countries in the same UNDP briefing for “possible support for our socio-economic development (programs) with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NDF, even as negotiations are still ongoing.”

Dureza’s UN visit actually sets off a roadshow of peace forums that will be mounted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the GRP peace panel in Rome, Milan, London and Vienna.

On Sunday, GRP peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III will be attending a peace forum at the multi-social hall of the Philippine Embassy in Rome at 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., while panel members former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rene Sarmiento and Ateneo College of Law Dean Sedfrey Candelaria will grace a similar event at the Chaplaincy at 1 p.m.

After his Philippine Embassy engagement in Rome, Bello, who is Labor Secretary, will proceed to Milan to meet with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). He is also expected to discuss the progress of the peace negotiations with the CPP-NDF in the forum organized by OFW Watch.

GRP peace panel member Angela Librado-Trinidad will be in London on January 27, then in Vienna on January 28, also on missions to explain the ongoing peace process.

The parties to the Government of the Philippines (GRP) – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace process have agreed to sign supplemental guidelines for the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC). These guidelines shall additionally guide the work of the JMC in its task of monitoring the implementation and achieving of the objectives of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). (PR)

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