UNYPAD gives inputs on the Role of Youth in the Peace Process during Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit on Unity and Solidarity

By: Melia S. Ukom

Cotabato City (December 13, 2016) – The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD), represented by its Secretary General Uz. Yusoph Lumambas, spoke on “GPH-MILF Peace Process: Bangsamoro Youth Contributions and Challenges” during the CBCSO Bangsamoro Multi-Sectoral Leaders’ Summit on Unity and Solidarity on December 5-9, 2016 at Royale Mandaya Hotel, Davao City.

In his presentation, Lumambas discussed managing frustrations after the failure of 2008 MOA-AD and failure of the 16th Congress to pass the BBL; Managing vulnerability of youth to radicalism; Reaching out peace spoilers; Campaigning differences between Normalization vs. DDR in the ground, Unity and solidarity among Bangsamoro and other stakeholders; and Increase level of understanding of community on the peace process.

Rido (clan feud) settlement, monitoring, advocacy, lobbying, networking, consultation and dialogue are among the best practices of the youth in peace building, Lumambas stressed.

He focused on the discussion of bridging the leaders to consolidate the leadership, powers and authority that must be inseparable for attaining lasting peace in Mindanao.

He sighted verses from the Holy Qur’an as basis of the unity and solidarity, bridging leaders and convergence.

“Developed trust and confidence, Lessen hostilities, Enhanced coordination among CSOs and the Peace process mechanism, BSG & CBCS: insider mediators, youth empowerment, established numerous Bangsamoro CSOs, POs and NGOs  alliances, UNYPAD membership to TPMT, MinHRAC, membership to CPC-IMT, MPC, membership to CPC-IMT, Presence of international mechanism and Signing of several agreements (FAB and CAB) are among those identified by the youth as key results and achievements in  the peace process”, he pointed out.

Lumambas told the participants of the summit that among the recommendations of the youth are : Convey Key Messages on the Importance of the BBL (Grassroots Peace Advocacy) One voice: “Bangsamoro Basic Law first before Federalism”; Ensuring the BBL is anchored to the FAB and CAB, Train lobby group to reach and persuade congress, Maximizing participation of network (i.e. INGO, NGO, CSO, Media, Academe, etc.) for Unity and Solidarity towards Bangsamoro government; and The peace and development programs on the Moro communities must continue.

Guiamel Alim, CBCSO Chairman, challenged the leaders to unite and consolidate because they are expected supposedly to run the Bangsamoro Government, but it’s so saddening that we are still calling for unity and solidarity despite of several efforts for unity in the past years, he said.

One of the outputs of the said summit is the creation of Bangsamoro for Peace, Unity, Solidarity and Hope (BM-PUSH) as coordinating mechanism pushing for unity and solidarity.

Dr. Hamid Aminoddin Barra from King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies Mindanao State University, Marawi City, gave lecture on Islamic Concepts of unity and solidarity in relation to the peace process.

Muhammad Ameen, MILF Central Committee Secretary, and Datu Romeo Sema, MNLF-Muslimen Sema Faction Secretary, delivered their respective solidarity message.

More than one hundred multi-sectoral leaders from various organizations, academe, religious leaders as well as sultanate from island and mainland provinces of Mindanao participated the summit.