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Peace with MILF historic for women

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 10:05 AM June 05, 2014

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles: Breaking ground. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–When the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace agreement in March, the moment was historic twice over: it was an opening for peace after 17 years of negotiations, and a woman signed such document as chief negotiator for the first time anywhere in the world.

The leading role that Filipino women have increasingly played in society is what the Philippine delegation would share with world leaders and top women’s advocates when they represent the country in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict to be held in London from June 10 to 13.

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With the support of the British and Australian embassies in Manila, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles will lead the 12-member delegation of Filipino women “who have played key roles in conflict resolution and peace building,” according to the foreign missions.

“The Philippines is a shining example not just to your own people but to the world, in the region, and elsewhere. That’s why the Foreign Secretary (British Foreign Secretary William Hague) has invited Ging Deles and the delegation to really talk about what they have achieved. The inclusiveness of women in the peace process itself is a great example,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad told reporters at a sendoff reception for the delegation at his Forbes Park residence on Tuesday night.

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Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell acknowledged and paid tribute to the efforts of so many Filipino women in the peace process-negotiators, mediators, peacekeepers, relief workers and more. “Your contribution is inspirational; it has set the bar high around the world,” Tweddell said.

Hague and United Nations Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, a Hollywood star and long-time advocate against sexual violence, will chair the summit which is expected to bring together top government officials, experts and civil society leaders from 148 nations.

“In the peace process in particular, women have been breaking ground, taking on active roles and succeeding as negotiators, mediators, peacekeepers, peace builders, relief workers, trauma healers—the list goes on,” Deles said in remarks during the sendoff rites.

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TAGS: conferences, Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, MILF, peace agreement, Peace Process, Teresita "Ging" Deles, Women
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