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    Posted March 28, 2014 by

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    Phl women make history in peace pact signing

    THREE days before Women’s Month comes to an end this March, the whole world on Thursday witnessed for the very first time a woman chief negotiator signing a major peace agreement that will put an end to more than four decades of armed fighting in Southern Philippines.
    A report on Friday said this milestone happened under an administration whose peace process office chief is another woman -- Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles.
    Deles, who’s currently at the helm of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said the Philippine government has been breaking ground in promoting women’s meaningful participation in the peace process.
    “Women’s participation in the current administration is not just token representation on the table, but is something that has been shaping the discourse of the talks,” she said, stressing that the government’s commitment is made manifest in the important roles taken up by women in the peace negotiations.
    Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is the first woman chief negotiator to affix her signature on a comprehensive peace deal involving two negotiating parties. Other women who joined her in this historic feat were Presidential Assistant for Muslim Concerns and government peace panel member Yasmin Busran-Lao, and National Security Council Undersecretary and Technical Working Group on Normalization chair Zenonida Brosas.
    The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was signed by the GPH and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27 in Malacañan Palace, concluding the 17-year peace negotiations between the parties.
    During a press briefing held on Tuesday in Malacañang, Coronel-Ferrer said the CAB "would be unique in that it would be the first such agreement to be signed by a woman, not only as one of two chief signatories to a comprehensive agreement, but also because a total of three women – one half of the 6-person negotiating team of the GPH, and about one-fourth of the total number of signatories – would be signing it.”
    “The point, however, is not simply that you have women in Track 1 (peace negotiations), but that this agreement is a partnership in many ways: a partnership between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine government, between and among peoples of different faiths and ethnicity, and between men and women,” she added.

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