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In mapping up the best solution to resolve the conflict and attain peace especially in Mindanao, the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) and in collaboration with the Mindanao Young Leaders Parliament (MYLP) and supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) among others facilitated a roundtable discussion engaging leaders from the international community in dialogue.
Moderated by the TV personality and Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee, Karen Davila, young Moro professionals headed by Atty. Zen Malang and Engineer Don Loong discussed with key stakeholders and partners from the government, non-government, academe, media and social enterprise on their roles on Peace Building with the help of the Youth leaders being the front-runners in engaging peace.
Mr. Francis Estrada, the President of AIM expressed in his opening remarks that “Youth leaders express themselves so passionately! We need the energy, imagination, and idealism of the youth --- Muslim or non-Muslim. Old paradigms lead us nowhere. They should show their values in action, show their highest ethics, and show what Islam really represents,” – stressing the importance of the Youth in strategizing to end the long-time struggles of the Philippines in terms of peace attainability in Mindanao.
United States Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Kristie Kenney urged the participants to prioritize development in small places as this according to her, is an important part for a bigger development and in order to find peace she encouraged Filipinos that if “you don’t succeed the first try, look for other avenues to find peace after all, this is your country.”
Mr. Klaus Preschle, Country Representative of KAS in the Philippines also noted that “in resolving a problem, it is not enough to always point everything to the government but to civil society as well because the civil society has a voice and that voice in addressing problems should be used properly.” He then came up with an analysis that one of the problems is that neither the Christians nor the Muslims agree among themselves, therefore intra-dialogues within and amongst themselves is a must. Finding and implementing a solution would be much easier if the Mindanao conflict were more of a national concern, he added.
ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Chief Maria Ressa shared that “the fight in Mindanao is about power and fear and media cannot operate in an environment where power is abused to create fear.”
Mr. Christopher Wright of the British Embassy came up with a suggestion that agreements such as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domains (MOA-AD) need to explained better to every Filipino because he figured out that one of the reasons why the MOAD-AD did not came to form was the lack of effective communication amongst people and government. He stressed that communicating effectively will make the difference --- the Young Moro Professionals serving as living proofs of this act.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Avelino Razon also reiterated that the Peace Process is not stopping even if the MOA-AD was not signed, until now according to him, there is a continuing process of explanation and communication with all sides from the government to the civil society.
The event was participated by young professionals, members of the diplomatic community, foundations like the Smart Foundation, The Asia Foundation, World Vision and Kids Foundation, students and faculty members of different schools and civil society groups.