Role of third parties in mindanao peace process

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The GRP and MNLF submitted conflicting reports on the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement. When the OIC will convene the tripartite meeting,11 it will be useful if it will direct discussions towards coming up of implementation plan rather than allow the two parties hurl accusations against each other. To monitor compliance, it will be effectual to assign a member country to do it rather than assigning it to a collegial body like the Committee of the Eight.
Malaysia should continue its role of facilitating the GRP-MILF peace talks, as Secretary Albert noted, “Malaysia remains crucial to the search for peace in Southern Philippines,”12 and should continue its engagement up to the post-conflict phase. It is imperative that Malaysia shall remind always the GRP and MILF on the importance of a road map and benchmarks in the implementation of whatever agreements reached. Equally important is a monitoring group that shall keep an eye on compliance with the terms of agreements and see to it that they are implemented in accordance with the road map. How to fast track the negotiations so it will not take as long as the GRP-MNLF talks is a valid concern that Malaysia, the GRP and MILF should seriously consider.
The U.S. should keep up its policy not to supplant Malaysia in its role in the GRP- MILF peace talks. Better still the United States Government shall raise to the level of the State Department its involvement in the peace process. By so doing, I guess Malaysia will be comfortable partnering with the U.S. in the search for peace given that their dealings will be on government to government level. Likewise, the MILF will feel confident that any agreement reached will be implemented given the strong political influence of the U.S. in the Philippine power structure. On the part of the GRP, involvement of the U.S. in the peace process will certainly be welcomed. The USIP, with its rich experience in conflict management will be indispensable in providing support to the State Department.

Many European countries have rich experience in assisting states that suffered from internal conflicts rebuild their societies. The involvement of these countries, either unilaterally or through the European Union, in the peace process will certainly add to chances of success in peace building efforts, particularly in the post-conflict reconstruction phase. And Japan, which has been invited to join the IMT, at least in the civilian component, should give favourable consideration to the request because it can contribute so much to the success of the peace process.

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