The Framework Agreement concerning the Mindanao Peace Process
October 7, 2012
- Japan heartily welcomes that the Framework Agreement concerning the Mindanao Peace Process has reached after many years of negotiation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- The Framework Agreement is an important first step toward the realization of the final agreement concerning the Mindanao Peace Process and Japan sincerely pays its respects to both the Government of the Philippines and the MILF for their persistent negotiation efforts and to the Government of Malaysia for its contribution as the facilitator.
- In the meantime, because the Framework Agreement leaves the resolution of several important issues to future negotiations, it is expected that more difficulties must be overcome to reach the final agreement. Japan strongly hopes that both parties will steadily implement the contents of the Framework Agreement and continue their persistent negotiation efforts towards the early realization of the final agreement.
- Japan would like to continue to lend its full support to the Mindanao Peace Process through the dispatch of experts on development to the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the intensive implementation of economic cooperation projects in former conflict-affected areas (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)), the participation in the International Contact Group (ICG) on the peace talks, and other methods.
References: Mindanao Peace Talks
(1)The peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) began in 2001 with Malaysia acting as the facilitator. In 2003 a cease-fire agreement was reached, and in 2004 the International Monitoring Team (IMT), headed by Malaysia, began operation in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas. As a result, progress was made in the negotiations toward a peace agreement, but in August 2008 discussions surrounding the resolution of land issues ended in failure and reignited armed conflict. Subsequently, the formation of the International Contact Group (ICG) in December 2009 sparked the recommencement of peace talks in February 2010. The peace talks are continuing under the Aquino Administration, which was inaugurated in June 2010, and expectations are rife that a final peace agreement will be realized.
(2)Based on the recognition that peace in Mindanao will serve regional peace and stability, Japan is contributing to the reconstruction and development of the Mindanao region through: (i) the dispatch of development experts to the Social and Economic Development Section of the IMT; (ii) the concentrated implementation of economic cooperation projects such as extending Grassroots Grant Assistance for Human Security in former conflict-affected areas (J-BIRD); and (iii) the participation in the International Contact Group (ICG) that is providing advice by attending the peace talks as an observer, among others. On August 4, 2011, President Benigno Aquino III and MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim visited Japan, and had informal discussions on the outskirts of Tokyo, aiming for resolving the various issues on Mindanao peace process.
(3)In the afternoon of October 7, President Benigno Aquino III announced at the press conference that the Framework Agreement had reached as the result of the peace talks which has started on October 2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The details of the Framework Agreement will be announced publicly in the next few days. The recent “Framework Agreement” calls for the creation of a Transition Commission (TC) that will formulate basic laws, draw up a proposal of constitutional amendment, and coordinate development programs. Subsequently, the basic laws are to be enshrined into law, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is to be abolished, and following the establishment of a Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the New Political Entity (NPE) (autonomous government) is to be launched. The details will be discussed by the TC and are not clear at this time.
- (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press version in Japanese.)
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